Below is a step-by-step drawing tutorial.
Step 1: Create the main organ of your cat
You’ll have seen our previous tutorials on animal drawing. If you’ve ever followed them, you will know that we always begin with building lines. No matter if you’re a professional or beginner, construction lines can be extremely helpful for artists. It is a great way of making sure that your drawings are accurate before adding details. We’ll use an oval shape for our cat drawing. This oval should be slightly inclined to the right.
This is the most important step of the first step. Make sure your oval is at center of your canvas. You will be drawing many more elements of the cat in the next steps. These include the tail, head and legs.
Step 2: Make a Cat’s Head
This second step will be used to create a second oval construction that will represent the head of your one cat drawing. The head oval should be smaller than the body oval that you created in the previous step. It should also have a steeper angle.
Step 3: Make the cat’s front paw
Next, you will need to build the front legs. We are going to start by starting with the foot closest to us. This angle allows you to start the lines for your legs just above the oval shape of the body. Two lines should be drawn from the front, starting at the bottom of your main body oval. When they reach the bottom, you want the lines to be closer together.
Draw a small oval at the bottom of your leg with an upward angle. This oval will be used to draw the cat’s claw in the next steps.
Step 4: Make the second front leg for your cat
The fourth step is the same as the third. For the front leg, draw the lines straight down and not forward. To represent the leg, add a small circle to the bottom of the leg.
Step 5: Make the cat’s first hind leg
Next, you will be focusing on the first hind leg of your cat drawing. This leg should be drawn right in front the oval body’s back. Draw a “U”-shaped square facing your back. It’s easier to draw the paw of a cat in two stages because their hind legs have knee joints. This will be the cat’s thighs.
Draw the Cat 5. To finish the bottom of the Cat 5, draw two lines slightly slanted back. End the paw with an irregularly shaped circle.
You should now be able to see the shape and position of the hind leg. In the next steps, we will begin butchering it.
Step 6: Make the second hind leg for your cat
You will use the same steps for the second rearfoot as the first. You will need to start with another “U”-shaped square. However, you should draw it straight down and not back. To capture the correct perspective, ensure that the backline of this “U-shaped” starts on the “U-shaped” leg.
You will need two lines and an irregular circle to complete the final back leg. These two lines should point towards the cat’s front to capture the right angle for the cat’s hind leg angles. Also, ensure that the circles do not face forward.
This stage is the tutorial on drawing realistic cats. You will begin to see how your cat’s basic shapes are connected and it will look something like our example.
Step 7: Make a cat’s tail
Now, draw the construction line you will use for the tail. You can use one curved line for the tail. It should be just above the rear end of the body oval. To create a distinctive curved tail, draw the line in a way that looks like the letter “2”.
Step 8: Draw the ears of your cat
This is the last step in building before we start creating the final sketch for your cat drawing. The ideal spot to place a cat’s ears on top of their head is just below the top of their oval-shaped heads. Draw a triangle-shaped shape on the top of your cat’s head. Next, draw something slightly more rounded behind it.
To get the correct perspective, ensure that your front ear is in line with your back ear.
Step 9: Carefully line up your cat drawing
Now it is time to finally put all the construction lines to work and draw your final cat drawing. Start your sketch at the beginning. Use the oval as a guide, line your ears, then flatten the top part of the head by tapping on the oval. The bottom curve of the head can be traced, giving the nose a volume. Once you have drawn the outline of your chin, draw the horizontal line that runs parallel to the main body oval at the lower point.
For the remainder of the outline, you can follow the construction lines very closely. You can outline the construction line along the sides for the cat’s tail. You don’t have to adhere to the construction lines exactly. A few curves and bumps can add texture to your cat drawing.
To give the illusion of fur, you can make some hair strokes look like a comb. You can lengthen the hairlines a bit, especially around the belly. To make the feet look more real, you can draw some curves to separate the toes.
After you’re satisfied with the outline, you can start to erase any remaining construction lines.
Step 10: Add texture and details
Once you have drawn the outline, it is time to add texture and details to your face. This is the first step in a series of detailing steps. The second step will be completed with paint.
Start by drawing a V-shaped shape and then add a half circle to it. To create an iris, draw a circle around the circle. To create a small eyebrow over the eye, use a few small strokes. Do the same below the eyes for texture. You can also draw whiskers around the nose by adding small lines.
To give the appearance of fur, apply short strokes across the body of the cat.
Step 11: Add the initial color layer
Although the painted cat is considered tabby, it is possible to create a unique look for your pet by using this step. You can color your cat by following our instructions and using light brown for the entire body.
The first coat should be light as you will be adding texture to the next steps with darker shades.
Step 12: Add another color layer
You will need to choose a light grey color for the next step. This light coat should be worn over the majority of the cat’s body. Light brown shades should be left around the eyes, nose, belly and legs.
The cat’s final color should look like this after this step.
Step 13: Mix the colors and add a third layer
Use a soft, gentle brush to add a third layer with slightly darker brown. You want to concentrate most of this brown color on the top of your cat.
You can make the fur more patchy to create a realistic effect. Your cat’s drawing will look more natural if you use lighter and darker colors.
Step 14: Add Tabby Stripes
Tabby cats are famous for their tiger-like stripes. To make your drawing look more real, you can use darker grays or blacks to create these stripes. Your stripes should be narrow and parallel. You don’t want the stripes to be completely parallel across the cat’s body. You can make some lines curvier, or put others in a different direction. Make sure they are not joined.
You can make the stripes on your tail and legs look more real by drawing them horizontally, so they wrap around your tail and legs.
Step 15: Add featured material
Highlights and shadows are essential to make any drawing look real. These tools give your drawing dimension and perspective. To contour the cat’s face, trace some of the tiger stripes using a light cream colour. Cream color can be used to blend lighter colors under the cat’s stomach and on the cat’s upper back.
It can be useful to determine where your light source is in your composition when adding lights. If your light source is located above the cat’s heads, highlight the top of the cat’s skull, along with its tail and back.
Step 16: Add Shading
To do the opposite of the highlighting, use a dark shade of black or dark grey for this last step. You can add general shading to the areas of the cat’s body that are not exposed to the light source.