How to colour animal fur and feathers

At Christmas, you’ll often find yourself colouring some festive animals, from robins and doves to reindeers and polar bears! So it’s the perfect time of year to scratch up on some tips and tricks for how to colour animal fur and feathers, with this tutorial guide from Colouring Heaven.

If you’re new to colouring, take a moment to read our how to colour guide for beginners, which contains lots of handy tips and resources.

How to colour animal fur

Whether you’re colouring cats or dogs, horses or unicorns, learning how to colour realistic animal fur is a skill you can use on lots of your favourite colouring pages.

We have a couple of really helpful video tutorials all about how to colour fur.

Colouring realistic fur is all about directional colouring – using the strokes of your colouring to imply the direction of the animal’s fur. Build rich layers by starting with a lighter colour and making it darker with each layer. You may find it helpful to use a photo as reference, so you can see the natural direction, colour and pattern.

How to colour feathers

We have another brilliant colouring tutorial about how to colour realistic feathers. In this video tutorial, our artist Jo Barber talks you through the process of colouring a large, detailed feather using a reference picture, and also how to colour a collection of smaller feathers on a bird.

Once again, the secret to realistic feathers is all about gradual layering, directional colouring, and using reference pictures to create a realistic effect!

We hope this festive tutorial has taught you everything you need to know about how to colour animal fur and feathers on your Christmas colouring pages.

If you love Christmas colouring, take a look at our colour in Christmas gift tags that you can download and colour at home for free.

Plus, don’t miss your opportunity to receive three free festive issues of Colouring Heaven when you sign up to a subscription this month!

Stay in touch

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all things Colouring Heaven. Be sure to share your beautiful colouring with us in our Friends of Colouring Heaven Facebook group and join our friendly, lovely community!

Become a Colouring Heaven Plus member today to make sure you don’t miss an issue of Colouring Heaven, plus lots of other benefits including discounted issues and more.

To receive more colouring tutorials, advice and news direct to your inbox – plus 4 exclusive free colouring pages – sign up to our free Colouring Heaven email newsletter.

We use cookies to give you a better experience on By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it