Do you want to learn how to create a lifelike drawing of a cat? You’ve come to the right place! In this tutorial, I will guide you through each step, from the basic shapes to the final details. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to create a drawing like the one shown below.
What You’ll Learn:
- The structure of a cat’s body
- The structure of a cat’s face
- Understanding cat fur and shading techniques
- A piece of paper (any type will do, but we recommend using Fabriano papers)
- A graphite pencil
- Fine liner
For a visual demonstration of each step, watch the video below:
Now, let’s get started!
Step 1: Draw a Circle
Begin by drawing a large circle in the lower middle of your canvas. This circle will serve as the body of the cat. Adjust the size according to your desired cat proportions.
Step 2: Draw a Smaller Circle Above
Draw a smaller circle above the first one. This will be the cat’s head, approximately 2/3 the size of the body circle. Align the side edges of the circles.
Step 3: Draw Another Big Circle Under
Draw another large circle below the body circle. This circle represents the lower part of the cat and will determine the size of the cat’s belly. Slightly offset the circle to the right for a more natural pose.
Step 4: Draw Two Curved Lines for the Cat’s Neck
Connect the intersection between the two circles with a curved line on the right side of the cat’s head (our left). Repeat the same for the other side of the neck, connecting the middle of the first circle with the head.
Step 5: Draw a Football-Like Shape
This shape will serve as the back leg of the cat (the other leg is hidden by fur). Ensure that it isn’t wider than half the size of the third circle and align it with the base of the circle.
Step 6: Draw a Cucumber-Like Shape
This shape will represent the upper arm of the cat. Align it with the top of the first circle.
Step 7: Draw an Elongated Bean-Like Shape
This will be the cat’s forearm. Make sure to slightly angle it in the opposite direction of the upper arm to indicate rest.
Step 8: Repeat Step 6
Draw another cucumber-like shape to create the other upper arm. Keep in mind that some parts will be hidden by fur and the cat’s body. Align it with the head and the other arm.
Step 9: Repeat Step 7
Draw another elongated bean-like shape to form the other forearm. This completes the front legs of the cat.
Step 10: Draw a Triangle-Like Blob
This shape represents the cat’s lower leg. Ensure it aligns with the thigh (drawn in step 5) and doesn’t extend below the level of the cat’s body.
Step 11: Draw Three Horizontal Bean-Like Shapes
These shapes will be the cat’s feet and paws. Draw the front ones the same size and make the back one slightly larger.
Step 12: Define the Hidden Leg
To understand how the hidden leg affects our drawing, imagine a leg shape (similar to the one we already drew) and erase the parts hidden by the body or paws. This will help you determine what to shade and what to outline.
Step 13: Let’s Draw the Ears!
Find the center of the cat’s head and calculate where the ears should be positioned. Ensure that the distance between the middle of the head and each ear is equal.
In the following steps, we will focus on the cat’s face and structuring its features.
Step 14: Find the Center of the Cat’s Head
Locate the center of the cat’s head and draw another parallel line to the one already drawn.
Step 15: Draw Two Soft Lines from the Ears to the Bottom of the Head
Since every cat is unique, adjust the size of the face according to the cat you want to draw. Draw two lines from the ears to the bottom of the face, creating a width that matches the desired jaw size.
Step 16: Draw the Eyes
Position two large spheres for the eyes, equidistant from the center and slightly close to the lines drawn in the previous step. Adjust the size to achieve the desired eye appearance.
Step 17: Draw Half of the Nose
From the side of the eyes, sketch two small diagonal lines, with one longer than the other. The longer line represents the nose bridge, and the smaller line becomes the nose. Customize these lines to match the desired cat’s appearance.
Step 18: Draw the Other Half of the Cat’s Nose
Repeat Step 17 in the opposite direction to complete the nose shape of the cat.
Step 19: Draw the Upper Mouth Lines
Draw a small line in the center of the face along the line created in Step 15. Then, draw two diagonal lines connecting to the curves from Step 16. These lines outline the upper mouth of the cat.
Step 20: Complete the Nose and Define the Mouth Lines
Add a small line on top of the previous nose shape. Complete the mouth with an inverted “Y” shape and draw curved lines connecting to the upper mouth lines created in Step 18.
Step 21: Draw the Jawline and the Corners of the Eyes
To enhance the cat’s facial features, draw the upper and lower corners of the eyes. Add a small curve for the lower jaw.
Step 22: Draw the Pupils and Indicate the Tail
Sketch two small ovals within the cat’s eyes to indicate the pupils’ location. Also, draw a curve to suggest where the tail should be positioned.
Step 23: Define the Tail Shape
Using the tail structure as a reference, add longer lines to create the appearance of fluffy fur. Customize the tail shape based on your desired cat’s characteristics.
For the remaining steps, we will use a permanent marker or fine liner to define the cat’s features.
Step 24: Clean and Detail Your Cat’s Face
Gently erase the structure lines and start outlining your drawing with a fine liner. Pay attention to the shape of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Use small lines to depict fur around the cat’s mouth and don’t forget to add whisker roots.
Step 25: Draw the Cat’s Fur on the Face
Observe the cat you are drawing and mimic the fur pattern on the face. Add more volume to the sides and keep the top of the head relatively flat.
Step 26: Fur is Affected by Gravity
Remember, fur follows the laws of gravity. If you’re drawing a fluffy cat, the hair will naturally hang downward. Practice drawing larger downward strokes and smaller upward strokes to capture the dynamic nature of fur.
Step 27: Define the Paws
Draw bumpy lines on each finger of the cat’s front paws to define their shape. Divide the circle structure into three parts.
Step 28: Detail the Back Paw
Follow a similar process as Step 25, but make the back leg slightly larger and turned toward the front. Be mindful not to extend the fur too far on the back leg to maintain proper proportions.
Step 29: Define the Tail
Use the tail structure as a reference to add fluff by drawing longer lines. Adjust the size and shape to suit your desired cat’s appearance.
Step 30: Final Step – Shade the Cat
Now, carefully erase the guidelines using a strong eraser. Your drawing should be clean and ready for shading. With multiple soft and small strokes, shade the cat according to the pattern of its fur. Add more shadows to the lower part of the cat, as if the light is coming from above. Feel free to experiment with different lighting setups!
And that’s it! Thank you for following this tutorial. I hope you enjoyed creating your own cat drawing!
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