Meow Up Your Skills: Painting Cat Portraits in Procreate | Sofi Naydenova | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Meow Up Your Skills: Painting Cat Portraits in Procreate

teacher avatar Sofi Naydenova, Illustrator, Fine artist, Indie Game Dev

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project Description

    • 3. Sketching

    • 4. Working with Color

    • 5. Working with Color pt.2 - Refining

    • 6. Final Steps - Adding the Banner and Background

    • 7. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Hi there! This class is made for real cat lovers and admirers!

In this class, you will learn how to illustrate a stylized cat portrait in Procreate!

We will begin by sketching out the cat and finish with exporting the image.

If you are a beginner and need some structure, make sure to follow the steps I do, if you are an advanced illustrator, feel free to experiment the way you like - this class is designed for all levels! 

Music credits: 

Green Tea by Purrple Cat |

Music promoted by

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Midnight Snack by Purrple Cat |

Music promoted by

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported


chill. by sakura Hz |

Music promoted by

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License


Spring Showers by Purrple Cat |

Music promoted by

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Mare Tranquillitatis by | e s c p |

Music promoted by

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sofi Naydenova

Illustrator, Fine artist, Indie Game Dev


Hello, I'm Sofi. I'm an illustrator with over 5 years of experience.

I am also a creator of Happy Doggo Studio, an indie game studio.


If you wish to get to know me better as an artist, you can read my story here:


I hope you will enjoy my classes See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Sofi and welcome to my class. I'm an illustrator, fine artist, and creator of Happy Doggo Studio. It's an indie game studio. I have six years of experience with illustrations, I drew for web platforms, for magazines, I had experience in education, and art direction, and I want to share my experience with you. In this class, we are going to draw cat portraits because it's fun. I'm going to guide you through all the steps of creating an image, from sketching to exporting the image. We will use Procreate, but you can draw in Adobe fresco or Photoshop, the process is basically the same. This class is suitable for beginners. I will explain how I use Procreate, but also if you're advanced illustrator, don't hesitate to take this class to create your own portrait. Let's dive in. 2. Project Description: Again, in this class we are going to draw a portrait, and feel free to draw your own cat or choose the image of your favorite cat breed on Pinterest. Again, we will use a program called Procreate. But if you prefer Adobe Fresco, Photoshop, don't hesitate to take the class too. In my opinion the only difference are the brushes and the work space. There's no real difference. Please don't be afraid to ask any questions you will have during the class. I will be drawing my own cat. His name is Moon. First I will try to make a nice picture of my cat facing towards the camera, so at the end the portrait it will look something like this. Yeah, I'm so thrilled to see what you will come up with. If you all decide to take this class, please write something about your cat and maybe leave a picture in the discussion board. Let's create a catalog community here and share our beloved cat. Yeah. Let's begin with the class. 3. Sketching: Let's begin by creating a canvas in Procreate. I already have here a cat picture, I edited by clicking insert a photo. Let's resize a canvas 1,600 by 1,600 pixels. But if you want to print out the image in the future, I advise you to create a canvas minimum of 250 by 250 pixels. Let's create a new layer and choose pencil styled brush. Let's lower the capacity of the photos of the cat, because that will be more comfortable to draw on top of it. But if you want, you can make as a picture really small and just put it to the side. I start to draw the head. Sometimes I start to draw simple shapes. Sometimes I prefer to work in a more messy way like now. It always depends on the mood and also task. If it's a personal project, then I can do that forever. But if it's a work for a client, I get more structured because then I need to show the sketch to the client. Don't follow a particular rule of sketching. Just sketch things out the way you feel comfortable. I don't like the ears, so I will erase them and draw new ears. Also I will change the shape of the head little bit. While sketching, I'm always erasing and adding things. I also draw the stripes on the forehead immediately, but let's not get too details on that. After we got the big shapes, let's go to the details. I will begin with eyes. My cat will have slightly larger eyes because my drawing style isn't realistic. Also, I never turn on symmetry to flip any files like eyes or hands or legs. Because then it looks more natural because there's no symmetry in nature. But a few like how symmetry looks, you can always copy and paste the eye in the future. One of the things I use a lot is lasso tool. I like to reposition things that way. This is more for lazy way of editing things, than redrawing everything, but that's what Procreate is for. After we got the whole face, let's clean the sketch a little bit. Now I will finalize the shape of the head. I will get to the final details like pupils and stripes. Now, I see that it's better to add more body to the portrait. I will make the head slightly smaller, because I want to add the name of my cat to the bottom. To select the whole layer, you just click the arrow button in the menu and you can warp your shape, your layer, or position it. Yes, you can experiment possessed feature. I will add some list to the portrait and feel free to draw any plant you want, or even your favorite flowers. Finally, I will clean up this sketch once more. Then we are done with sketching. If you already finished just skip to the next part. See you then. 4. Working with Color: I'm done with my main shape and the facial details, so I continue to draw stripes with my darkest color, with dark brown and I paint with a Nikko Rull brush, which you can find in the folder called Artistic. I'm not bothered yet with the lines going out of the main shape. Later, I will make this layer in to a clipping mask. It's not final, so this looks not perfect, but later I will refine all these stripes. I'm just drawing these stripes to see the whole picture, and then I will move on to the details and refining stuff. I lower the opacity slightly because I think it turned out too dark. Now I decided that I want my color palette to be more grayish, so I will choose a new color for the underlying layer. I will make underlying layer in between the main shape and the upper layer, and this will automatically create a clipping mask. I forgot to add stripes to the lower body so now I'm adding them. Finally, I will move to creating all the white spaces in the face. I turned on opacity of all the colors at maximum to see the whole picture and I noticed that my colors are a little bit dark and too warm and so I go to the adjustments section, it has a second pattern which depicts a magic wand and at the bottom I choose a hue saturation and brightness section and I make the brightness higher and the saturation lower. I create a new color for the ears based on the color I have, so that it is almost the same color as the nose, but slightly less saturated. Now, as I have everything, and as I said before, now's the time to refine everything. 5. Working with Color pt.2 - Refining: Welcome back. Let's refine our drawing. I refine everything by applying more pressure with the brush and lowering the size of the brush for a better control. So far it looks really good. Let's move to the last part of adding the last details and the name of the cat. 6. Final Steps - Adding the Banner and Background: Let's go to our final step, adding the last details and findings of portrait. I just quickly go over all the details again for a little bit, and see what I like and what I don't. So I will change the stripes on the forehead, I want to make them more elongated and pointy. I'd like to zoom in and zoom out the image from time to time to see the big picture, and this way, I really see what needs to be refined. Let's add a background. I want a green or blue background, but I think I'm going to choose blue because we will add plants which have a green color or a little bit of color variation will be great. Free to choose any color you want for your background, and also you can change it later if you don't like it. Let's add the friskers, and I create a new layer, I choose white color and I choose my studio pen from the ink section, again and lowers his eyes down and start drawing. The reason why I chooses this brush is because it looks great, it is perfect for details as well, and this brush is also amazing for drawing, lettering or tiny details. Let's add some hair into the ears as well. Now let's draw the banner of the name and make sure to bring the sketch layer before the face of the cat to see the sketch, and I choose and creates a new layer and a dark blue color, which I used to draw the details, and a studio pen brush for crisp lines, and outline the shape and then I fill it in by dragging the color from the right upper corner into the shape, and then I refine it a little bit. Let's create a new layer for the name, I'm choosing, white color for us and letters and start drawing them. You don't have so much experience in lettering, feel free to take more time, and I also advise you to take any font you like and redraws the letters from this fond, and to his practice, you will be able to draw the letters by yourself. As a final step, let's add some plants in front of the cat. I make the color palette visible and experiment with the colors I like for my plant, and I place the layer of the plant's behind the banner layer because we want the name to be visible and readable, and again, I'm outlining the shapes and I'm filling them in. Although I drew the exact position of the plants in this sketch, now I just draws the leaves where I want them to be. I create a new layer and choose a lighter color for the range of the leaves, and I repeat the process with every plant. Don't worry about the lines that go outside the leaves, we will make a clipping mask outer. To create a clipping mask, again, tap on the layer and choose clipping mask. So the portrait is almost finished, I just decided to add some dots into separate crowd. Feel free to choose any color you want, and let's paint dots on a new layer, and make sure that this layer will be behind the cat, and our portrait is ready to export the image tabs, the first button in the menu, and try and choose a format. 7. Final Thoughts: This was our class. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to ask questions if you still have any. Don't forget to share your work here or on Instagram and tag me so I can see it. I can't wait to see your artwork. Also, write in the comments if you want to see more of my classes on Skillshare because I had so much fun creating this class for you, and I hope you learned something new. I hope I will see you soon for another class. Bye.