How to Draw a Cat from a Photograph

How to Draw a Cat from a Photograph is about having a healthy thought life. A big part of that involves having downtime every week. When I need to unplug and relax I draw. I decided to share a few steps on how I start a drawing for those readers out there who like to draw.


Art is no different than any other skill. It can be learned.


#1 Find a photograph that you would like to draw.


It has to be a quality photograph with a clear image in order for you to be able to draw it. If you want to create a realistic drawing you have to have a clear image to draw, there can be no guessing at what your looking at. I am using an image from a calendar that I bought at the local dollar store. That being said, please be aware that if you draw an image from a photograph there are copyright laws to consider. I am just doing this drawing to relax, I do not have the intention of selling it for a profit. If I draw an image to resell I often use photographs that I have taken myself  or I draw from photographs that clients have given me that they took personally and were not professionally taken.


#2 Draw a square graph over the image.


Photo copy the image on a color copier. Than take a black pen and draw a 1″ by 1″ square graph directly over the image. If you prefer to draw the graph onto transparency film it can be reusable and then you’ll have it for your drawing.


I reuse a piece of transparency film that I have drawn a 1″ X 1″ graph on. I simply tape it onto the image I wish to draw.







You should barely be able to see the pencil graph on the paper you wish to draw on, if you draw it too dark you risk it showing up underneath your final drawing.

Next you need to VERY LIGHTLY draw the 1″ x 1″ square graph onto a nice quality piece of paper. If you draw it too dark it will show through in your final drawing and you’ll have to start over.


Drawing initially too dark has been something that I always have struggled with. I have had to start over at times when I go too dark and it ends up being wrong. This goes for the graph as well as the image.

Нарисовать изначально слишком темное было тем, с чем я всегда боролся. Мне приходилось начинать сначала, когда я слишком темный, и это заканчивается тем, что я ошибаюсь. Это касается графика, а также изображения.

Narisovat’ iznachal’no slishkom temnoye bylo tem, s chem ya vsegda borolsya. Mne prikhodilos’ nachinat’ snachala, kogda ya slishkom temnyy, i eto zakanchivayetsya tem, chto ya oshibayus’. Eto kasayetsya grafika, a takzhe izobrazheniya.

#3 Now start to draw the image onto the piece of paper.


I prefer to work in colored pencils but I draw the entire image first in pencil, again,VERY LIGHTLY.


The eye and mind play tricks on us. What do I mean by that? We often draw what we think a cats eye should look like instead of drawing what the actual shape is. The shapes of the images reflected in the eye as a whole translate in their entirety as a cats eye. Go square by square and lightly pencil in the shapes within that corresponding square.



Here you can see that I have started going darker after I have got the layout down.




Another tip that I have for you is to have a very sharp pencil. It will help you create clean sharp lines that make the image POP.


My favorite pencil sharpener is by Kum. In the photo you can see that there are two sharpeners withing the case. Step one is to start the sharpening process, step 2 is to get the pencil super sharp and pointy! I have used so many pencil sharpeners and this is by far THE best pencil sharpener on the market. It also comes with an extra set of blades so when one set gets dull, you can easily take a screw driver and pull the old ones out and put in the new ones.






You have to have a sharp pencil for detail work.


You should invest in high quality materials. I love Prismacolor pencils.  I find there selection and quality are the best. The color variations they have available are vast. I own every single color they make. It is an investment that I have made over time and has been well worth it. My husband gives them to me for Christmas. When I have tried other products I have been disappointed and always go back to the Prismacolor brand.







Stay tuned for my next post on drawing with colored pencils. I will share some of my tips and tricks that I have learned!


Thanks for reading!

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