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How to Draw A Cat Picture: Step by Step Drawing

Sweetiepie is an artist and a blogger. See more of her artwork by visiting the website listed on her profile page.

Do you love cats? I know I do! You may not adore cats the way I do, but I am so fond of these creatures that I am constantly creating pieces of art work to celebrate their beauty. Bobby has been a family cat for over eleven years, and now more than ever I love to commemorate her life with striking pieces of art work. Sketching pictures is my passion, and one day soon I shall be publishing a book with my own illustrations. I have always wanted to publish a book actually, and I know that I have some great stories to share, but it is just something I have been putting off. When I first started creating this picture it was simply going to be a Halloween bag, but then the holiday passed and I needed to do something with this wonderful illustration. I decided to cut the picture out of the bag and to eventually frame it. I used a nice frame I found at the second hand store to display this lovely picture of Bobby cat. The materials that I used for creating this cat illustration were:

  • a drawing pencil
  • colored pencils
  • an eraser
  • a picture of Bobby cat
  • a brown paper bag
  • a bottle of mod podge
  • a paint brush

Take a gander at the tutorial below to see how this amazing picture of Bobby cat came to life.

Picture of Bobby

Here is the picture of Bobby that inspired this drawing.

Here is the picture of Bobby that inspired this drawing.

I selected a nice wood frame for my sketch of Bobby cat.  Framing your art work makes it easy to display it on the walls of your home.

I selected a nice wood frame for my sketch of Bobby cat. Framing your art work makes it easy to display it on the walls of your home.

Step One: Draw The Cat Picture

The picture of Bobby was drawn on a brown paper bag.

The picture of Bobby was drawn on a brown paper bag.

Do you believe in recycling? If so, decorating paper bags is a great way to reuse items that would just end up in the land fill. I wrote another article on how to decorate bags for Halloween, but unfortunately the cat bag was not finished on time. Only later would I find the inspiration to turn Bobby into a picture for my wall, but as I said simply decorating a used paper bag is a very green way to go! I remember as a child we used to take Stater Brothers paper bags and cut these up to make protective covers for our textbooks. One of my favorite beginning of the year pictures was to decorate my brown paper bag covers, which were just so much more durable than the pre-made ones they used to hand out to us in class. Also, one thing I had forgot over the years is that brown paper bags are very forgiving when it comes to erasing and redrawing the lines of your illustration. As you can see in the picture above Bobby is surrounded by the title Happy Halloween, but in the following steps I will show you how I cover up those words.

Step Two: Coloring In The Cat's Head

During this step I beginning coloring in Bobby's head.

During this step I beginning coloring in Bobby's head.

As I am coloring in Bobby's head I make sure to pay attention to detail by staying in the lines.  One of my favorite things about the drawing process is the ability to fill in the sketch with vibrant colors.

Step Three: Fill In The White Portions of The Cat

Here I used a white colored pencil to fill in the white portions of the cat.

Here I used a white colored pencil to fill in the white portions of the cat.

During this phase of the process I used the white colored pencil to fill in the light portions of Bobby cat, such as the stripe on her nose and her whiskers.  Bobby is a tuxedo cat, so I always feel like she is getting ready to a black tie event as I bring her to life with my illustrations.  Yes Bobby is a real cat, and as you can see from the picture above she is a very docile one at that!  Bobby prefers to stay in the house and really does not like to cat around outside.

Step Four: Begin Coloring In The Cat's Body

Here I used the black colored pencil to continue filling in the lower body.

Here I used the black colored pencil to continue filling in the lower body.

During this step in the process I used the black colored pencil to shade in the lower portion of Bobby's body.  I shaded more darkly to create the shadowy effects on certain portions of my cat's body, and I must say I look forward to practice I will obtain from future drawing.  Some how sketching is like a dialogue where you learn new things and begin to see the world in a thousand new ways.  All of a sudden little details you never noticed before come into view!

Step Five: Finish Coloring In The Black Portion of The Body

In this step I finished shading in the black portion of Bobby cat.

In this step I finished shading in the black portion of Bobby cat.

One of my favorite parts of shading in the black portion of Bobby cat is the contrast with the white fur.  I also loved blending the black colored pencil in between the whiskers to thin these out, and to make these hairs look more realistic. 

Step Six: Finish Shading In The White Fur

Here I used the white colored pencil to complete shading in the white fur.

Here I used the white colored pencil to complete shading in the white fur.

Here I used the white colored pencil to finish filling in the belly area of Bobby cat.  Now my beautiful manx tuxedo cat is ready to go to the evening soiree, so I better create the appropriate background.

Step Seven: Color The Windoswill Burnt Sienna

Here I used a burnt sienna colored pencil to shade in the windowsill behind Bobby.

Here I used a burnt sienna colored pencil to shade in the windowsill behind Bobby.

Yes the original picture of Bobby cat did not have a picture window directly behind her, but in my drawings I often like to deviate from the photograph. At first the Bobby scene was going to be taking place on Halloween night, but in my procrastination I did not finish the trick-or-treat bag on time. To be honest I am super happy I deferred the drawing because I was able to turn it into a picture for my wall. The first step in covering up the Halloween slogan was to color in the windowsill, and then to focus on coloring in the sky and her blanket.

Step Eight: Color In The Night Sky

Here I used a dark purple color to shade in the night sky.

Here I used a dark purple color to shade in the night sky.

In this step I used a dark colored pencil to fill in the void of the night sky.  I love shading, and it is quite relaxing actually.  The moon remained an empty brown circle on the bag until after I filled in the color of the blanket Bobby was sitting on.

Step Nine: Color The Cat's Blanket

I used a fuchsia colored pencil to shade in Bobby's blanket.

I used a fuchsia colored pencil to shade in Bobby's blanket.

Here I used a fuchsia colored pencil to color in the blanket of Bobby cat. The blanket in the photograph of Bobby is about the same color, so this detail pretty much stayed the same in the illustration. I made several folds in the blanket by shading these regions more darkly, which was very soothing. I am not sure what it is about shading, but pressing down on the pencil is just so therapeutic.

Step Ten: Color The Moon

Here I used gray and white colored pencils to achieve the craters and shadows of the moon.

Here I used gray and white colored pencils to achieve the craters and shadows of the moon.

First I shaded the moon in with a gray colored pencil, and then I emphasized the brighter parts of the moon with a white colored pencil.  The blending of these two colors created a very realistic moon!

Step Eleven: Cut The Picture Out

I used the scissors to cut the picture away from the paper bag.

I used the scissors to cut the picture away from the paper bag.

Since this was no longer going to be a Halloween bag I used the scissors to cut the picture out.  Next, it was time for me to mod podge my drawing, which would give it a cool paint like effect.

Step Thirteen: Paint The Drawing With Mod Podge

Here I painted mod podge over the Bobby cat drawing.

Here I painted mod podge over the Bobby cat drawing.

Paint mod podge over the cat drawing and allow it to dry overnight. I usually allow the mod podge to dry thoroughly, and by morning it has sealed the drawing. I love the glossy brush strokes effect that I achieve with mod podge, and I often use this technique with my drawings. I plan on framing this cute cat drawing and putting it on my wall.

Comments

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on September 16, 2015:

Thanks!

prettydarkhorse from US on September 16, 2015:

Step by step, nice. :)

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 18, 2014:

Thanks, peachpurple! I would never draw on a paper bag again, but just wanted to try this to illustrate that drawing can a very budget friendly hobby.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 18, 2014:

wo, you can draw so well. Clever and talented I must say. But isn't it hard to draw on the paper bag

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on August 08, 2011:

Thanks for your comments and reading bkcreative!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on August 07, 2011:

Love the finished product and the how to steps.

I am so busy adoring this lovely cat I adopted a few months ago - the only thing left for me to do is draw pictures of her and add them to blankets, pillows, frame it, put her face on my T-shirts, etc. etc. What a cat!

Thanks a million and rated up!

Katy on November 02, 2010:

I have been drawing a lot recently. My favorite things to draw are

cats, and I was looking up different styles of drawing them. I have

two cats of my own, Mimzy and Samson. Some of my favorite artists

on Youtube are Arikado900 and Caramelcat123. I found this, and seeing it

inspired me to make more pictures. If you reply I probably won't see

because I probably won't come back to this site, so don't bother.

Katy

Ps. You're a great artist.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on August 25, 2010:

Georgina,

Bobby is my parents cat, and I do not have one currently. I still love kitties though, and drawing these is always inspirational for me.

Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on August 25, 2010:

Love your picture. This would make a great Zazzle print. My last two cats died a long time ago now, they were both 20, so I'm catless (I was so upset I'm not sure I could have more).

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on June 14, 2010:

Thanks Research Analyst.

Research Analyst on June 14, 2010:

such a great drawing, luv it.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on June 14, 2010:

Thanks Lillian!

Lillian on June 10, 2010:

I love Cats! say hi to Bobby for me!

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 08, 2009:

Lorie,

I think since we love cats it is easy for our drawings to always turn out that way!

Hi Peggy,

I appreciate the suggestion of acid free paper and that is a good idea.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 08, 2009:

It is easy to see that you love your Bobby. You might want to check into using acid free paper for your art projects as they will last longer and future generations may want your Bobby on their walls as well. Thought that I was already a fan of yours. Going to correct that oversight right now!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on November 07, 2009:

I'm such a cat person that every animal I draw looks like a cat. At least that's what everyone says!

Now, maybe I'll be able to draw them with distinction!

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 07, 2009:

Thanks for your lovely comments vampire crazy. Nice to hear from other cat lovers.

Vampire crazy on November 06, 2009:

I adore cats, and yours is incredibly cute!!!

Love Bobby!

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 06, 2009:

shamelabboush,

Thanks for your sweet comments about Bobby cat. She is very sweet and docile, and you would enjoy meeting a cat like her.

Cygnus,

Us cat lovers need to stick together. I appreciate your kind comments!

Cygnus76 from ON on November 06, 2009:

i love cats, have 4 myself. hehe

i love the step by step instruction :)

shamelabboush on November 06, 2009:

Oh, I adore cats too :) Please kiss that cutie Bobby for me :)

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 05, 2009:

Wayne,

Thanks! The whiskers were my favorite part actually!

Dolores,

I appreciate your comments. I like to share the steps with people to give everyone an idea of how the cat came to life, but I truly believe everyone and anyone can create their own cute cats. Mostly I just enjoy drawing and take pictures, and sharing!

febriedthan,

Glad you also enjoyed my Bobby cat drawing.

febriedethan from Indonesia on November 05, 2009:

You're so creative and talented, wonderful picture of cat!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 05, 2009:

Sweetie Pie - I think you forgot one step - having talent. There are those among us who could follow every step you offered and still wind up with a dumb looking cat. It takes talent, skill, and practice to create such a wonderful design like you did. You have quite a style!

Wayne Tully from United Kingdom on November 05, 2009:

Excellent and your cat looks so close to the original photo because it's a good likeness...I like this cat drawing and the whiskers stand out really, well good job!

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 04, 2009:

Thanks diane!

dianacharles from India on November 04, 2009:

awwww... really cute.loved the contrast with the fuchsia.

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