I mean, look at this!!!
Of course, I had to add this to my "cat lore" at once. The patterns are obtained by carefully shortening the hair, revealing the darker color unerneath, or by cutting the hair altogether exposing the pale skin. I'd imagine this would be more common among catfolk who have a monochrome fur coat, without many spots and such.
Aside for that, not much to say about this sketch. Just two Ajshari warriors resting a bit after some training. In general, every Ajshar male is forced to serve in the army for roughly three to five years depending on the country, and some choose to remain full time in the army even after that. That generally means a high pay and a high status, and in case of death their family would still receive a regular payment. Also, you can expect more art of these "pattern cats".
So you obviously can't tattoo fur, but this seems like a middle ground between applying markings as makeup (like the Ermehn in Beyond the Western Deep) and the "screw it, they're tattoos, don't think about it" approach. The fur is going to grow out, but fur that's shorter than the fur next to it is still shorter than the fur next to it even when both patches of fur have grown some. It doesn't disappear entirely until the hairs have run their course and fallen out to be replaced.
Then again, I'm probably thinking of the fur too much like human head hair. The uncut fur probably isn't going to get much longer, since most of the Ashjar probably don't regularly have haircuts over their whole bodies.
Great idea! Of course it wouldn't be permanent like a tattoo, but that would also be an advantage, because you could let it grow out if you don't like it anymore or want to try something new.
What are they drinking? I first thought the left one cooked soup or something and the right one is trying it now, but as there is no fire to heat the pot, it might just be water?
PS: Great art, as always!
It's an interesting idea, then again what if they had different patterns used for different ranks in the army, like one design for conscripts, another for NCO's or more senior soldiers
I mean it's not like these guys have a uniform that they can stick a corporal's/sergeant's stripes on.
They don't have uniforms in many cases, but ranks can be recognized by the decorations on helmets / armors. Generally leaders and elite warriors want to be clearly visible and recognizable on the battlefield, both for for their own troops and the enemy.
easy identification is important, hell during our 1916 Rebellion many of the guys taking part went out to fight in their sunday clothes, only a small number had been able to pay a tailor to make up a "Irish Volunteers" uniform
most of the guys in the photo below looked like civvies except for their guns & ammo.
I absolutely love idea of fur patterning via cutting on anthros!!! Suits the cats in your setting even better than creatures in my setting with longer fur!! (but they still use it xD)