Master the Art of Oil Painting Cats with this Step-by-Step Guide!

If you like animals and they please your eye and heart, I would like to offer to paint a cute kitten, which I have drawn from the photo, together with me. Also, you can make photos of your pet and perpetuate its image on the canvas with the help of paints and brushes.

The main advantage of our today`s oil painting lesson is the subject – animalism, first used in our art lessons (if not consider the lizards and the birds…).

Classic Approach

To paint a kitten, we will use quite classic approaches without any special innovations, twists, and turns.

We will work on the square canvas and it is not an easy task, because the square canvas requires well-thought-out composition. My kitten is static and it does not need to move anywhere. Perhaps, he has stopped before the jump but at the moment nothing except for its look tells us about it. Based on these circumstances, I have placed it in the center of the square canvas.

If you have decided to paint a cat on the move, you should leave the space for your cat not to bump into the edge of the canvas with its nose.

Materials for Oil Painting Lesson

  • Titanium White
  • lamp Black
  • Burnt Umber (Mars Brown)
  • Cadmium Red (Lake Pigment Red strong)
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Phthalocyanine Blue
  • Cobalt Violet Deep
  • an oil paint thinner
  • a canvas (square)
  • a cloth
  • the brushes (№3, №1, №6, №16).

Before starting working with paints, I would like to focus your attention on some moments:
I advise you to start with something simple.

If you have never drawn any animals, do not paint them in the difficult (strange) poses and it will be better if its coloration is limited to one color. Thus it will be more understandable for you how to create shadows and light on the hair. And you will not need to think about how to make the switch from one color to another.

To avoid the gross blunders in the animal`s constitution, it is necessary to take into account the fact that: the eyes of all the animals are on the same line, the size of the eyes is the same, especially if they are looking at you. The same can be said about the location of ears and the length of legs.

Let`s come over to the main stage of our art painting lesson and start working on the painting.

If you paint together with me, everything will be quite easy. And I think that you will have received an excellent result after several hours of work.

Make the Background

For this purpose, you should mix Burnt Umber and White, add a bit of the paint thinner and cover the whole canvas with the help of a big brush.

Now let`s come over to the next stage of our drawing art lesson and make a sketch. Dip a thin brush into the White and sketch out the kitten emerging from behind the chair. Sketch out the back of a chair, kitten`s head and legs. Evaluate the proportions and the shape of outlined objects. For example, the head should not be too big (small) about the tail and the legs and your sketch should look symmetrically and harmoniously.

Wipe off the Paint

Use a cloth and remove the background paint from those areas, where the cat`s body and the light chair is outlined.

Sketch out the Kitten`s Head and Legs with the Dense White

If needed, correct the shape, size, and locations. Also, you can outline the back of the chair, where the kitten rests on, with this paint. At once at this stage of our free oil painting lesson online you can outline the shadow under the kitten`s legs using the Cobalt Violet mixed with the White and the Burnt Umber.

The Background Improvement

The next task is to draw in everything that is located behind the kitten. You should not give too much effort and accuracy to this work. The background is out of focus and slightly blurred. This is why we can outline it quite roughly with the help of a big brush.

Let`s come over to the next stage of our free painting lesson and paint the main character. Then outline the basic color and light spots on the kitten`s snout. Mix the gray color with the White and the Burnt Umber. Outline the light on the nose with pure and denser White. Slightly outline the darker spots where the eyes will be painted. Outline the light on the legs and improve the shadows.

Thus slowly but steadily, step by step we are moving to the more detailed working out of the portrait of our playful and fluffy hero. Only at the last stage of the work, you should make thin and dainty brushstrokes over the basic spots outlining the whiskers and the hair of our animal.
Here it should be mentioned that when painting the kitten`s hair, even at the initial stage your brushstrokes should repeat the direction of the hair growth.

Then we are coming over to the important stage of our free painting lesson and paint the eyes of the character – the mirror of the whole work. I will repeat myself and say that the eyes should be located on the same line (without imbalance). They should be of the same shape and size. It is extremely important!
In order not to get confused and not to be assailed with doubts, first you should outline the size, shape, and location of the eyes just as the darker spots. Evaluate them and correct them if needed.

The next stage of our oil painting workshop is the work with the color. Here everything is quite simple. Outline the pupils with almost pure black (vertically elongated oval). Then add the color of the eyes. In my case, it is the Burnt Umber mixed with the Cadmium yellow and a bit of White. Paint the specks over the almost finished eyes. Do it using the dense White with the help of a thin brush. Do it quite accurately since it is difficult to correct.

Attention! You should work on both eyes at the same time instead of painting one eye and then – the other one. When using this approach, there is a great possibility to paint different eyes.

Details and Improvements

At the last stage of our online painting lesson, we can improve something and work with a thin brush. Draw in the hair, whiskers, and some specks on the fluffs. To be brief, bring the work to the completion stage.

This work can be finished in one session. And if you have tired, you can postpone it for tomorrow.

That is all!

I wish you good luck and new success in your creative work!





2 responses to “Master the Art of Oil Painting Cats with this Step-by-Step Guide!”

  1. John Doe Avatar
    John Doe

    What type of paint is best for oil painting cats?

    1. admin Avatar

      For oil painting cats, it’s typically recommended to use artist-grade oil paints as they have a higher concentration of pigment and produce richer colors. Some popular brands include Winsor & Newton, Gamblin, and Old Holland.