You don’t need a fancy art degree or mastery of fine art techniques to draw a cat’s face; you just need to put a bit of confidence, creativity and practice into drawing a perfect feline portrait. With a few simple steps, you can learn how to draw a realistic cat’s face, capturing your kitty’s individual features from the tip of their whiskers to the alluring markings of their coat. Ready to discover how to paint purr-fection? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Start With the Head
The first step to creating your cat’s face is formulating their head. Start with a circle for the top of the head, slightly larger than it would be in real life. Then, use three sharp points to create a triangle at the bottom of the circle to be the muzzle. Connect the triangle to the circle with two curved lines to represent the cheeks. According to the breed of your cat, you may need to adjust the size, shape, and length of their muzzle as cats of different species have significantly different facial structures.
Step 2: Map Out Their Features
Now that you have the basic shape of your cat’s face and features, you can begin to give your cat the details it needs to come to life. First, highlight the eyes, by creating two almond-shaped circles slightly angled toward each other. Place these circles on either side of the center of the muzzle. Be sure to make them slightly bigger than you would expect in real-life.
Next, maps out the nostrils and mouth by sketching two small lines on each side of the muzzle. Just below the nose, give your cat two triangle-shaped ears. If you’re going for an anime-style cat, feel free to make the ears bigger and more rounded.
Step 3: Add in Its Markings
Because cats come in such a broad range of colors and patterns, you have limitless possibilities for adding your own unique spin on the cats markings. Start by giving your cat their desired fur color, using a solid shading. For a realistic look, use a layer of lighter tones of the same color for depth.
Once the colors are blocked in, use a finer tipped brush to add in realistic fur strokes and lines. These should be directed from the chin up the side of the face then around the ears to the back of the head, but feel free to add a bit of creative flair into the direction of the fur strokes.
Now you get to add in the fun colors and patterns. Feel free to experiment with color combinations, markings, and patterns. This is your chance to give your cat a glamorously striped face, a dalmatian-like pattern, or two-toned fur.
Step 4: Paint in the Details
Now that you have your cat’s face shaped and marked out, it’s time to bring it to life with the details. Start by giving your cat whiskers and claws, using thin and wispy lines for the whiskers, and small pointy projections for the claws.
Continue to refine your work by carefully painting in details. Draw in the fur of the eyebrows, add contrast to the eyes, and sketch in the shadows of the cat’s face with a few well-placed grey tones and highlights to make the piece pop.
Step 5: Let It Shine
Now your cat is ready to show off its fabulous face to the world. Give it a final scan to pick up any details you missed, correct any unsightly lines, and slowly build up the color intensity to give your cat an extra sparkle to its fur.
Finally, step back and admire your finished cat face. Hold up a mirror, take a picture, and share your masterpiece. With a little bit of practice and patience, you can create an alluringly realistic feline face in no time.
Step 6: Adding the Body
Now that you’ve painted the perfect cat face, you can begin to sketch the rest of the body. Start by drawing a big oval for the torso, and two smaller ones for the hind legs. For the front legs, draw two long lines to form the base for each leg with the longer of the two being the inner leg and the shorter the outer leg.
Fill out the shape by drawing the tail, using a combination of curves and angles to form an arch. For a whimsical look, add a swirl or two at the end of the tail. Finally, use more curved lines to define the paws, body and neck.
Step 7: Finishing the Fur
Now it’s time to spend those hours adding in all the fur details. Block in the basic fur colors just like you did for the face, and then go back and add layers of colors and shadows. Use a thicker brush to add highlights and contrasts, and use thinner lines to define certain areas.
Be sure to pay extra attention to the paws, face, tail and back. These will be the areas that stand out the most, so be sure to get the colors and tones just right. You may also want to add some adorable fur textures for a truly realistic look.
Step 8: Let There Be Life
Finally, bring your cat to life with a bit of shading and color. For cats with lighter fur colors, add in some darker tones of the same color to give the fur texture and depth. Then, paint the eyes with a bit of a lighter color and use thicker brushes to add mascara and pupil details.
Finally, splatter in a few colorful highlights around the eyes, muzzle, and cheeks. This will give your cat’s portrait a unique and personalized touch that will make it stand out from other cats.
Step 9: Wrap It Up
Now that you’ve successfully created the portrait of your dream cat, it’s time to bring it to an end. Give your artwork one final scan, making sure that the fur is consistent and realistic, the eyes are properly shaded and the highlights are situated in place.
For the finishing touch, carefully sign your masterpiece and congratulate yourself on a job well done! Now, your cat-painted artwork is ready to be shown off to the world.