How to Draw A Cat Picture: Step by Step Drawing

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.

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Comments 27 comments

dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 6 years ago from India

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


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks diane!


Wayne Tully profile image

Wayne Tully 6 years ago from United Kingdom

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!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

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!


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia

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


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

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.


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 6 years ago

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


Cygnus76 profile image

Cygnus76 6 years ago from ON

i love cats, have 4 myself. hehe

i love the step by step instruction :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

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!


Vampire crazy profile image

Vampire crazy 6 years ago

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

Love Bobby!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

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


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

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!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

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!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

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.


Lillian 6 years ago

I love Cats! say hi to Bobby for me!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks Lillian!


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 6 years ago

such a great drawing, luv it.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks Research Analyst.


Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 6 years ago from Dartmoor

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 profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

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.


Katy 5 years ago

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.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

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!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for your comments and reading bkcreative!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

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


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 21 months ago from Southern California, USA Author

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.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 12 months ago from US

Step by step, nice. :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 12 months ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks!

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



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