Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Draw and Paint Folk Art Foxes

The breakdown of how to draw a fox based on the basic shapes.
How to Draw a Fox: Triangles, Ovals, Hearts, and Moons
Pinterest and Etsy are pretty foxy this year.


Whether you're into pottery, fabrics, figurines, or prints, you can find your favorite medium covered in foxes.


The abundance of foxes on these, my favorite Web sites, inspired me to paint a few of my own  foxes on an old canvas I'd been dying to cover.

Drawing and Designing Foxes

Before I could start painting, however, I had to design my own characters.  Folk figures are relatively simple to design when you think carefully about how basic shapes combine to create the "essence of" the animal. For example, as you can see in the blue illustration above, my fox's basic shapes are the triangle, heart, oval, and moon.

Practice Designs in a Sketchbook
After practicing the combination of basic shapes a few times, I started adding color detail in my sketchbook with Prismacolor pencils.   I used photographs of foxes help me choose the right color combinations and markings.

Painting Foxes - Supplies

In order to keep my painting folksy and simple, I chose to use the same three colors and a high gloss medium.


  • Mars Black
  • Titanium White
  • Red Ochre
  • High Gloss Medium


Painting Foxes - Step by Step

I started the painting by brushing alternate horizontal and vertical strokes, similar to a basket weave, using Mars Black mixed with the medium.

Red Ochre is the Perfect Fox Fur Color
Once the background black was dry, I outlined the basic shapes with a very fine line of red ochre. In order for the foxes to really "pop" on the canvas, I left the paint flat, unmixed with a medium, so the background would reflect light, but the foxes would not.  I then filled in all but the white spaces with the red ochre, following the general lay of the fur.  The key was to use a light, dry brush technique so as to allow some of the background black to show through the red ochre.

Before the paint was completely dry, I went back with a clean brush to fill in the white areas, letting the white and red mix slightly at the edges for a soft blend.

After the white paint was dry, I added a bit more red ochre where I would be painting the legs and black accents for shadows.  Lastly, I added the black nose, eyes, legs, ears, and shadows.  I mixed the black with the newly added red for an even softer look, wanting to avoid the look of a graphic design.

Happy with the results, I am glad to report the new painting now sits on my hearth next to the fireplace.  However, these little foxes were so much fun to draw and paint, I have a feeling I am not done with them yet.

Want to read more about painting?  Try

Painting Supplies for Beginning Acrylic Painters
Escoda MARFIL Series Brushes for Acrylic Painters
Golden Heavy Body Artist's Acrylic Paint




Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to republish.









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