How to draw a cat from internet instructions

How to draw a cat
How to draw a cat. Screenshot.

There is only one place where we should look for information on how to draw a cat from internet instructions and that is on YouTube because it has to be a video tutorial. But since writing this article (2009) TikTok has surged in popularity and therefore immediately below this introduction you will see a TikTok video on how to draw a cat (added May 16, 2022). And I think this is a particularly good one because they’ve kept it very simple. You can draw a cat in many different ways. It can be super-realistic or it can be a cartoon character or the image can be representational of a cat. If you are not particularly talented then it is probably sensible to find a nice simple formula and this video meets that requirement.


Below are some YouTube videos showing various methods of drawing a cat. They have been on the Internet for around 12 years, which is a testament to their longevity. They can’t be that bad! They might even be quite good ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

In the spirit of making drawing a cat simple, the first YouTube video is short and to the point. It’s a video for people who don’t have any prior skills and yet still want to draw a cat to a reasonable standard for a range of reasons. This is not about creating a photo-realistic image! This is about a representational drawing of a cat and you can achieve a result very quickly if you follow the instructions in this video.

The second YouTube video is a way, I think of copying, by drawing, a photograph of a cat in small stages. It is very precise and almost certain to produce a decent drawing as it breaks down the image into sections, so scaling is accurate and the detail accurate too. It is drawing by numbers in a way but I would have thought a great place to start to get a feel for the process:

The next video is so relaxing to watch I am not sure that I was watching how to draw a cat but it is a great video. The artist draws on paper first and then uses that as a template for a digital drawing. Well that is how I saw it, anyway. It is a good one, a very good one:

The next video is also very relaxing again. It must be me! This guy draws in Chinese brush (I think). It is a kind of water color drawing. Actually, I think it is Sumi-e Chinese Brush Painting. Although, I am not completely sure what you call it, but it certainly gives an idea and a feel of how to draw a cat in this way:

Here is a nice one for kids. Also, you know, we don’t have to make art the complicated way. Sometimes the simplest of drawings are better than the most complex, provided and this is a big provided, they are good, elegant and well designed:

The following video is by the same talented person or people who drew the cat in pencil and then using a computer, only this time it is a lion and it is a WOW again. Great stuff and talent and this is how to draw a cat:

The next video is probably the best. It is by a self-taught Canadian lady who has been drawing all her life. I can’t embed the video here as she has forbidden it. I would, though, have a look around her YouTube home page (channel) as there is a lot of stuff there from which to learn from:

Video link: Drawing a Cougar

Sycra’s Art Videos – Channel link

Finally, a video, not from YouTube but a good one nonetheless:

That then is how to draw a cat from YouTube and TikTok videos. How about books etc.? Well, here is a link to a website where you can get some instruction in how to draw a cat:

  1. She recommends drawing from a photograph, probably because it is easier, particularly for the less experienced. The photo should show the cat well lit and in a straightforward pose. The equipment she uses is:
  2. A range of pencils — F, B, 2B, 4B, 6B, lightweight hot pressed watercolor paper, blu-tack (removable poster adhesive) or kneadable eraser, paper stump, eraser.
  3. Scan and print or just print the photograph and trace the key points on the image from that.
  4. Place areas of light and dark tone on the traced image. This is where you look at the photograph and look for shadow and highlights and draw those in. This is not about drawing lines for detail, however.
  5. The mid-tones are then shaded in using a B pencil and the edges smudged using the blending stump.
  6. Shading is added to the cat’s body and background. The whiskers are defined and the eyes shaded with a highlight drawn in.
  7. Next comes adding detail carefully including the fur and the muzzle at the base of the whiskers, for example.
  8. The drawing can be finished with the addition of more fur texture (short strokes against the direction of fur growth) and adding more detail where required plus some tone to the background.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

How to draw a cat using a camera obscura. An alternative way to obtain precision.

Many artists have used the camera obscura to paint accurately. The Latin term can be translated to mean ‘dark chamber’. Originally it was a darkened room with a small hole at one side or lens which projected an image of the scene before the camera obscura onto the wall opposite the hole or lens. The image is inverted. But it allows the artist to create a very accurate depiction of the scene and the scaling and perspective is going to be perfect. At least they can create the outline perfectly and then they can fill it in. It’s a bit like painting by numbers but perhaps I’m being a bit cynical.

Nowadays you can use modern versions which are much smaller which is a box or tent which does the same job. Camera obscura were the precursor to cameras. Cameras are built upon the same principles as were the early pinhole cameras.

Principles of a camera obscura in a pinhole camera
Principles of a camera obscura in a pinhole camera. Image: Wikipedia.

The picture below shows a camera obscura of a manageable size. Below, I discuss how you could use a camera and a projector to replicate the method of using a camera obscura to draw a cat. In fact, it is better to do it that way because the subject can be frozen. I would suggest that you could only draw a cat using a camera obscura if the cat was snoozing!

Camera obscura from the 18th century
Camera obscura from the 18th century. Image: Wikipedia.

Below is some more detail on the topic.

  1. How to draw a cat using a camera obscura — The Camera Obscura
  2. Modern Version of Camera Obscura
  3. Examples of Suitable Equipment
  4. Method
  5. Videos Showing Conventional Way

How to draw a cat using a camera obscura is discussed here. I didn’t want to present the usual sort of web page on this topic, which are essentially drawing classes tailored to cats. There are a number of videos on the subject to. These are also based on traditional drawing skills. Video, though, is a better way to learn the drawing skills needed to make a decent effort at drawing a cat for the first time. And I will presume that most people who search for, how to draw a cat, will be first timers because an experienced artist would use his or her existing skills and adapt them to drawing a cat. I will also assume that we are talking about a domestic cat.

On that basis, I am going to suggest using modern technology to recreate the use of a very old method that was used by a number of very fine and some famous artists in assisting them to draw and paint accurately. I believe that modern technology can replicate its use resulting in a quick and easy route to learn drawing to a proper perspective and scale, while at the same time fitting in with the modern desire for instant fixes.

How to draw a cat using a camera obscura — The Camera Obscura

What is a camera obscura? The phrase means darkroom, Camera = Latin for โ€œroomโ€, Obscura = Latin for โ€œdarkโ€1. Originally a camera obscura was literally a dark room with a small hole (about 1 inch in diameter) in it. Light, reflected off objects outside the room and passing through the hole is naturally focused on to a vertical or horizontal surface (if horizontal a mirror is used). The image so formed showed exact perspective and was a good basis upon which a drawing or painting could be created. Leonardo Da Vinci, in 1490, described of the camera obscura in his notebooks. The image is reversed and upside down if not corrected.

The use of a hole produced a relatively soft image. In the 16th century a sharper image was created using a convex (domed outwards) lens. Giovanni Battista Della Porta in 1558 in his book Magiae Naturalis, advised the use of camera obscura for drawing.

The dark room became a dark box that assisted in drawing. In the 17th and 18th centuries many well-known artist used it including: Vermeer, Canaletto, Guardi, and Paul Sandby. Vermeer’s use of it was assessed from the camera like perspective of his paintings. People in the foreground were 1658_Officer_and_a_laughing_girlnoticeably bigger. The use of a wide-angle lens (to get in as much of the room as possible) must have been used as wide-angle lenses allow a person to be near the camera and still in focus and in the image. This creates a great sense of depth in the image and painting.

The image formed by the camera obscura was traced and copied in situ much like using tracing paper. Of course, the camera obscura was used with live subjects who kept still. Cats don’t keep still, which leads me to the modern-day version.

Modern Version of Camera Obscura

The modern-day version of the camera obscura is the camera and the modern camera is a digital camera. The smartphone has superseded the digital camera.

How to recreate the use of old camera obscura methods with modern equipment? Digital images created by a camera can be projected onto any surface by a digital projector. The digital camera/digital projector combination is very similar the camera obscura of old in the finished result; a projected image onto a surface. In this case it would be projected onto a wall, I suspect. You can buy digital projectors on Amazon for ยฃ40+.

Using computer or television – but this means using paper which is transparent

There are alternatives, however, that preclude the need for the purchase or hire of a digital projector. Modern digital cameras can be plugged into a computer to allow manipulation of the image, uploading it to the internet or transmission to a television (with the right equipment). The resultant image on a television screen would be very much like a camera obscura image only better as it comes from the screen to you rather than from behind you. This would make tracing it much easier. Although, using a conventional camera obscura it is possible to let the projected image pass through the paper and trace from that side. In other words, the paper becomes like a transparency.

An even better process would be to plug the camera directly into the television, where the digital projectorequipment allows, and use the television image in the same way, as a starting point to trace around and get the perspective and scaling accurate before standing back and looking the cat in real life (if it is your cat that is being drawn) to put in some fine detail.

I don’t think the detail of the subject matter is a problem. The difficulty is perspective and scaling and in this method of how to draw a cat those difficult bits are mastered almost instantly and can be refined until your eye requires the aid no longer.

Examples of Suitable Equipment

pico projector A lot of modern digital cameras can be plugged directly into the television so people can see their still images of movies on their large flat panel screens. Projectors are less well known. Here are just two examples.

Yes, cost is a factor. But they are cheaper in the United States and they can be hired. Also if hired for one day all photographs can be projected and traced for completion at another time. Hire costs are more manageable of course.


How to draw a cat using a camera obscura (modern version):

    1. take photo of cat
    2. connect camera to television or computer or projector
    3. trace around projected or television image
    4. complete drawing

Videos Showing Conventional Way

I made an earlier post that shows a series of videos on how to draw a cat.

How to draw a cat using a camera obscura — notes

1 — How to draw a cat using a camera obscura

Acer Pico Projector ยฃ331 at Just Projectors–ย  a UK based business.

Clearco HD multi-use projector ยฃ179.99 inc VAT at Visual Tronic

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

These fluffy cats are some of the most intricate drawings you’ll ever see

This is the art of Kamwei Fong. He is a smart guy and he lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Below I have embedded two images and two videos from his Instagram account. He has an online shop on Etsy [click]. His customers give him a five star rating. He is good and I really like his art

PLEASE PLAY THE VIDEO BY CLICKING ON THE PLAY BUTTON. It shows the intricate method that he employs. It is very precise. He builds the picture like building a home with bricks and mortar. It is a painstaking, patient process. But he has imagination too and he knows cats. I think he is a cat guardian. In fact I am sure he is.

View this post on Instagram

Finally comes to the last piece of #commissionedwork. Iโ€™m so excited to post this and after this Iโ€™ll take a break before accepting new commissions. Actually the last 5 pieces were commissioned by the same client. It took about two month to complete them. Thank you all for trusting me and gave me such a great freedom in creating the work. It was a great pleasure ๐Ÿ˜บ On the other hand, Iโ€™m so sorry for turning down those who requested a commission piece of their pets because of my tight schedule, thank you for your understanding and as promised, Iโ€™ll make an announcement here when Iโ€™m available to accept new orders again. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ . Clyde and Bonnie, brother and sister ๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ˜ฝโœจโœจโœจThen follow by Sydney, Hoss (2000-2014), Zoey (2002-2018) and Nina (2002-2018) . Massachusetts, US ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

A post shared by Kamwei Fong (@kamweiatwork) on

P.S. It is nice to do a page on pictures of cats! The reason why I do articles on cat stories and many other topics is because I need to find the material as I work on the site every day. There are not enough pictures of cats for me to solely write about pictures to the exclusion of everything else. The site’s name is based on the keyword ‘pictures of cats’ which was the biggest keyword in the world of cats about 12 years ago and it propelled the site to the number one spot in the world at that time.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

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