Ring-Tailed Coati: Pencil to Paint mini-tutorial

If you are looking for Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday Giveaway #7, you can find it here.

Drawn with Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and painted on Hanemühle Rough watercolor postcard using watercolors, a Princeton Velvetouch Long Round and a Princeton Neptune Quill 4.

I apologize that I can’t identify all the colors in this painting. I used a home-made palette and have lost the color chart I made for it. And I was too lazy to do color swatches so I could identify them. One of these days, lol.

Did you know that the Ring-tail Coati of South America is a member of the Raccoon family? They are active in the day, though and live in treetops, building nests of leaves and twigs for their young.

The reference photo I used was courtesy of andycosta at Pixabay.

This coati presented a problem that I often find in painting animals. It had ticking, where each hair is a variety of colors. I love the look, but I still haven’t figured out exactlly the best way to capture it. I’m getting better at it, though. After doing the pencil drawing, I use the Pebeo Masking pen to reserve lighter areas to emulate ticking later.

I use pen to establish where the darkest areas will be, the direction of the fur and the overall outline of the coati.

I scanned this in between step because there are a couple of things I wanted to mention.

The color for this initial wash is either Quinacridone Gold or Gold Ochre and it’s a good base color for what I have in mind.

However, around the nose, feet, hindquarters this Coati has a deep blue sheen that I want in my painting.

I was chatting with hubby while doing this, and wasn’t paying attention. And you know what happens when you mix yellow and blue? Yup! Green. If my initial wash color was very light, it wouldn’t affect a deep blue, but this is a pretty intense yellow.

What the heck. It’s a challenge – I’m going to try for the blue sheen anyway.

The other thing I wanted to mention. Notice that I laid down the first color in the Coati’s tail and hindquarters, letting the color get lighter up and around the head and shoulders.

Well, the head and shoulders ARE lighter. Sort of an obvious thing to paint this way, but not something we always think of at this point in the painting.

I layered an earth red-brown, probably Transparent Red Oxide, Dioxine Purple (probably), and more of the Quin Gold until I had most of the color I wanted. As I used each color, I painted a light tint of it in the background.

I also mixed some of my blue (Phthalo Blue) with the purple, and will up the blue in the next step.

Once it had all dried I removed the masking fluid. Yikes! Too white! Fortunately, I planned for this. I know my paint will reactive nicely on these Hahnemühle postcards and I can soften all that white.

I softened the white by using a barely damp brush to reactivate the colors around it and fill it in. The goal is simple to have lighter bits of the same color. Once this dried, I took my stab at the blue.

It worked pretty well. I did get a bit green just behind the upper shoulder, but – gosh, I think this guy has been rolling in the grass, so of course he has grass stains!

I wasn’t totally happy with the ticking so I did some dry brushing with blue and the red earth color and finished up by adding dots and lines with the technical pen.


Where can you buy these wonderful toys?

Paper: Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcards:

Zebra Zensations Technical Pens

Princeton Velvetouch mixed media brush Size 6 long round

Princeton Neptune Quill Size 4

Pebeo Drawing Gum High Precision Masking Fluid Marker Pen

Published by Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

4 thoughts on “Ring-Tailed Coati: Pencil to Paint mini-tutorial

  1. He’s cute, adorable an should appreciate the new style you’ve painted him in. Did a beautiful job an he’ll grow into his new fur colours. He’s perfect just the way he is. Besides being somewhat of a challenge, sure you had fun doing him. Have a Happy St.Patrick’s Day…..any creative thoughts how to celebrate this day, just a little something to ponder over.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: