Animal study: drawing cats | Barbara Baumann | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Outlines & characteristics


    • 3.

      The anatomy of cats


    • 4.

      Cat breeds


    • 5.

      The Siamese cat


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Your project


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About This Class

Cats are so gorgeous to look at, but so hard to draw, isn’t it?
Their postures and their body language are fascinating and elegant. In this course I show you how to learn drawing cats.

After some cat studies concerning their poses and their anatomy, we are analyzing the specific characteristics of some cat breeds and apply all these learnings to a Siamese cat drawing in a slightly exaggerated cartoon style. For sure, this class will also be a brilliant occasion for some 3-minute-sketches, that you might already know from my sketching class ( ), as this method is so effective for learning the hand the lines based on the concept of the muscle memory.

At the end of this class you will be able to sketch a cat in typical poses and define characteristics of different cat breeds, by deducting their specific traits such as the fur style or the body shape.


For the outline drawings & 3-min-sketches:

  • Sketching: Ink pen or Pencil (6B)
  • Sketchbook
  • an hourglass/stopwatch/phone for the 3 minutes

For the more detailed portrait:

  • Pad or Sketchbook with your own coloring method

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Barbara Baumann

Illustrator & Drawing Tutor


Hello and welcome! My name is Barbara Baumann. 
I am an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria.
And I love sketching.

The idea of teaching classes on Skillshare comes from the bottom of my heart:
to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw. I love to welcome you in class!
It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

For tips and tricks about drawing, subscribe to my weekly Newsletter here - full of drawing tips and inspiration.
I'd love to connect with you on Instagram.

See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my class animals that is drawing cats. My name is Barbara Bowman, and I'm an Austrian artist and illustrator. I'm illustrating books as well as magazines. I was doing fashion illustration and illustrative branding. One off my passions is drawing. Animals have already created a glass called Drawing for, and it's about their basics off different first tiles off animals. This capturing glass here will be more about the correct heuristics off cats to say it clear what makes a cat a cat and not a dog or a tiger. So, after some kept studies concerning their post, trust in anatomy were in analyzing the specific characteristics off some cat breeds and apply all these learnings but drawing a Siamese cat in a slightly exaggerated cartoon style . For sure, this class will also be a brilliant occasion for some three minutes catches. You might already know them from mice catching class because they are really good method and very effective for learning the handle lines. Based on the concept of the muscle memory. At the end of this, Clancy will be able to sketch a cat in typical pills. Just enter defined characteristics off different cat breeds by deducting their specific threats, started the first style or the body shapes concerning the material. We'll need a panel re pants off us, catching as XP, for example, or an ink pen and switching between sketchbook for the roofs, catches and the I. But for the coloring of the cat, for example, you are free to choose your material. You can also keep this catch book for the whole drawing. Roses on calorie kept with other techniques like water color pencils are you only work a tip it as you prefer. Additionally, we will need a water now it lists in order to measure the time for a three minutes catch. Or you can use your phone Oreste approach for a class project. I'd like you to choose the photo for cat. I can download those of one off the pictures that I've put you in the download field or while. If you have a kid yourself, you have to perfect model. Anyway, I will try to us catch the cat in different styles, for example, in the most controversial or in a three minute version and in a Morty Teleway. So this any moral study will be fully focusing on the understanding of nature of the cats and the specific characteristics. And you're absolutely welcome to do these animals study with us. I'm looking forward to welcoming you in this class. Let's start. 2. Outlines & characteristics: Lesson one, the outlines and characteristics. Let's approach to kept study with basic shapes because with this method, we do not get distracted by its eyes or it's for pattern or its nose. But we focus clearly on the outlines off the cat. Let's have a look at this sitting kept, for example, as this one has a very typical post the years a red appointed and dry angular shaped on the hat is around forming, kneeling over with the eyes placed in the middle off this shape, whatever closer looking, basic shapes firming this cat he had this morning ellipse than a surgeon with its broadest part of the height off the cheeks. When I'm outlining the eels, we see that the triangular shape is even more was when you look at the position off the legs. They're slightly bending inwards in the small school, starting from the area around its shoulder. I'm here using kind of an action line in order the better show you hear her post, her head is slightly turned to the left side, which influences for anti poster on the position of her eyes. The right eye is in a slightly higher position. I am not only focusing on the outlines of the cat, the shape of her hat at the position off her ears for deducting the shape of her body. I'm using basic shapes. We will have a closer look at this method here. In this chapter, I'm sketching as well the ways he positioned the LAX and sits down, which influences her whole body poster. We have not only rough outlines off the kit, but we already know that this is clearly a cat. So it's very fascinating about characteristics because they're only some traits necessary to make an animal recognizable. But still it'll test. Let's compare the cat outline with another animal, and I'm sure you will soon recognise which animal I'm talking about and show it to you here very quickly. We'll do together step a step afterwards. We're starting with a very clear shape, a circle for defining the shape of the head, as well as for getting a feeling for the rest of the body. Only some little elements, such as the shape of the nose and the years and necessary in order to make a cat look like a cat. Oh, and yes, her tail for sure. Let's have a look at the outlines of a bigger animal, always so belonging to the family of the cat. The way the body is formed and the way it sits shows comparable characteristics but more drawn out. Its muscle is clearly bigger, and the I years are small and round. Andi, Well, this is Thea. Outline off a tiger to speak it out loud in the outline exercise that we're doing here Now . We fully focus on these lines on these central characteristics that makes a sitting cat a sitting cat and not a dog or attack on the download field. I've prepared to you a sheet with cats and different post just so you can practice the outlines on the basic shapes off the cat, So feel free to download them. Let's have a look at the posters off these cats Together. We're starting with the basic structure, a circle for the size and position off the head. A swell is a noble for the upper part of the Katz's body, and the bigger over in order to capture this sitting posts off the lower parts off its body . At this moment, we have already grated some essential information. The total size of ticket compared twits with. So there are three circles that gives me these Breashears orientation points. They're also very decisive for the shape of the cat. They're guiding the outlines. The shape and the position off the head indicates the position off the years, and the other circles help me toe better deductive position off the pause and the way the cat sits. Let's do the same without catch you. The legs are in the same shape off the second over from the years and Nilis hias half off the head. Their position dread is centrally on and the eyes in the middle off the head. A simple Linus enough for our orientation on drawing the outlines here a bit sicker in order to make a difference. Their basic shapes. The rest of its body is closely oriented to the shape off the circles that drifts catched at the beginning. The next kept pose is also very typical one the way she holds her hair than bends her neck . We start here again with the basic shapes the circles one for the head Anderson that has such a difficult bow we need to capture it a swell with a noble for better integrating it in our outline. Drawing later, the ball off her back, you know to be wonderful is catched with a circle. So again we only need three circles in other to capture the whole captain. Her specific post Alex form a kind of prolongation off the second circle. It's always very helpful. If some reference lines and shapes for orientations like these circles, let's assume in a bit and look at the head off the cat. The head of the cat is a very difficult shape. Its years of we're fine and dry uncle shaped, but not to point here. The tip. The years movable in order to enhance their hearing, they're directed forward and they're positioned in the back of the head. There is a large distance between iron ear and the short distance between eye and nose. The front part of off its head is red along and fled, dropping down at the height. Off the eyes. It's muscle is comparable Short, the tip off the nose is the longest part. If it let's exaggerate a bit by drawing, the bro fell off the kept with the specific shapes here. So when I was catching this specific cat shape in our outlined growing the shape of its nose and the position off the years on the back of its head, the rest of the body shape is deducted by the basic shapes this circles. And here's the difficult pull off its neck and the legs slightly slanted. We're following here, the shape created by this circle of the upper body. The bow off its back is so difficult for a setting cat, so we closely pay attention to it, once catching it as well as its tail. The captain of walking posters, also very interesting to analyze its part, is red epic compared to its head, and it's back isn't straight but has curves due to the shoulders on the spine. These curves can be a good orientation for the basic shapes for our circles. The basic shapes, as you might already know from us catching glass, are recreate help for structuring a drawing and for better keeping an eye on the proportions with basic shapes. I mean simple forms in order to reduce the complexity of the drawing. It does not necessarily need to be in circle that you are using as a basic shape, but it can be any shape that is of help for you. It can be a large oval for a whole body as well, or even a cylinder or a square. So whatever helps you for creating a structure is allowed. The effect of the black cats catch as it is only a rough outlines catch. I'm detecting the position off the legs, but roughly looking at the reference points. One off the front legs is directly under the head of ticket. One of the hind legs is clearly outside the main body area at the same height as the tail. The 2nd 4 leg is a proxy made in the middle of the cat, and the years are situated at the back of the cat's head. Her head is rid, along with a short muscle. The main shape off the cat is defined that way, so I'm drawing the outlines strong and now, on the second hand leg can be wonderfully deducted in relation to the tape. This is the basic a year off, studying animals in a very basic and fundamental way. No eyes, no details, no, for it's all about the main shapes off the cat. It learns us a lot about the characteristics off. Thes animals that way have to another kept outline exercises for you. As I've already explained my way off creating these outlines, I'll show them to you Now in a speed mode, the body of the cat is a bit twisted. It seems a bit like the cat is fixing something and just about to jump. But this doesn't make us any worries, because if its body is twisted, the basic shapes are the same to Requip doing the same procedures as we stand before. The other speed drawing example is that kept, it seems to be in an ambush position. Its head is very dominant in the front. Worse, the rest off its body is clearly in the background, only parts of visible. So here we can position the height off the ice very well. 3. The anatomy of cats: lesson to the anatomy of a cat. These typical posters of a kit that you have just analyzed before are easier to keep in mind when we have a look. A. T anatomy etiquette but no worries. We don't make a biology study here now. You absolutely don't have to keep in mind the position off all the caps. Bones. It's just to get an impression about the anatomy ins toe. Be better wear off the guests just off the captain. That way, looking at this skeleton off kept it just It's predate every character that is usually very well hidden in the fluffy for said they have strong muscles and especially the hind legs are made for giant leaps. So if you know that the spine has this specific bow like you see it here, it will be easier for you to drug hats afterwards. So the way the legs are positioned and the weather catwalks might also be easier to sketch when you see how the joints are positioned. Whenever a closer look at the proportions off this skeleton we see that they had is relatively small compared to the hell buddy, the legs are red along Andi the position off the knees is very interesting, as they are much higher than we expected. And here are the elbows. When we're looking now at the legs from the knees and elbows downwards, you see that its feet are starting in mid air because the cat is walking on tippy toes. Another characteristic of cats is the kind of curved back due to the shape off this spine in the tale is used to counterbalance when the cat is moving quickly. It contains almost 10% of the cats bones, and it is also used for communication, by the way. And it's interesting to know the reason why cats can pass the border through any space in which they can fit their head. They have free floating clavicle bones that attach the four limps off the cat to the shoulder. 4. Cat breeds: Lesson three kept breathes and characteristics. So we know now a domestic cat is not the dog and not a tiger. But where are exactly the difference? So we're ready to very deep into the analysis of the characteristics of a cat, and here are some dread rates. For example, it defined these three animal species quite quickly already at this red abstract level. But let's go a bit further. Among the domestic cats, there is a large number of cat breeds, each one with very special characteristics but there nevertheless still recognizable as cats. So we take now randomly. Three priests? No, not randomly. These three breeds are among the most popular cat breeds worldwide, so you might recognize them already when only seeing the silhouettes they give already hands about the first style in the body shape. Let's switch on the light ever closer. Look on them here we have in Maine Coon, with her majestic, luminous appearance, her for us, Think along and Fluffy, which makes it very imposing and eye catching. Additionally, the Maine Coon is a very big cat with a long, bushy tail and just the largest domestic cat breed. I like the fact that they are often called gentle giants. As this experience is a lot about their character. They're intelligent and playful animals. The Persian cat is also very fluffy one, but it has a completely different shape, very round face, a short muscle and four feet. Like the Maine coon, they have a thick coat. They prefer a quiet onions, and they're very close to the humans. As the monthly so short they have often less teeth than the other cat breed. I have chosen another kept breed to show you the strong differences between cats. It's the Siamese cat, a domestic cat as well, but a completely different appearance. Cats are really fascinating. The analyze the Siamese cat is all the one off. The oldest breeds off domesticated cats in the world. Its head is nearer and triangular shaped. It's years a large and eye catching the same. His cat is a very striking through pattern, and it's very playful, and the joys being with the humans in these Capri drawings, I've exaggerated a bit. You can even make a cartoon drawing out of each cat breed. All you need is to observe the cat characteristics and toe, emphasize the specific trades. I love to show you this procedure. Nine. The next lesson. Let's have a look at the Siamese cat. 5. The Siamese cat: lesson for Siamese cat. The aim off the lesson before with the three well known cat breeds wants to show you that each cat's breed has specific traits that we can focus on. But how do we know these traits? In order to be able to draw a specific cat or even toe executor, rate the characteristics of a specific it like I've done before. We need to observe this cat if you don't have a Siamese cata at home in real life, and I haven't either. We'll have a look on different pictures and descriptions toe. Learn more about this animal. In our case, it's a Siamese cat that we have chosen. So let's ever look on this cat breed simply typing Ximenes Captain, the search engine in orderto have a first impression about the appearance off this cat. So it's for Pattern is striking at the first sight. There are some links providing information about the behaviour and the origin of thes cats . So did you know, for example, that this Siamese cat was for a long time across? I'd kept breed, so I'm looking on the Wikipedia for getting a brief overview, including its physique or agenda traits, and the most important research was catching and Simon's kit. It's the analyze off the cat's appearance by searching for typical picks, just scrolling through to get a rough over you. The shape of its head is very striking, as well as its elongated, muscular body, mainly covered with bright. For and not a picture shows as difficult rates off the cat's face. All almond shaped eyes, light blue and surrounded by dark for very special is also the dark for off its feet on its tail. And here again, we see the special muscular and slander shape off its body. These brief research already give us appreciate hints on which characteristics we can focus on when drawing the Siamese cat. There might be many more traits as well, but we focus not on all off them, because we get lost in details and them off. This drawing is to define the traits that will meet, make people recognize the cat breed instantly, so by XX aerating this straits for a quicker recognition. We focus and some important traits and not too many, because this might become too confusing for them, for the Observer and for us, for drawing this cat for drawing this kept, you can either work with your sketchbook. Are you controlling your pet? It's more about to. The pros is off learning to see the special characteristics of this cat, then about the result or the technique that you're using. So let's start as usually with a rough sketch, but using the same procedure as the one used for the outlines of the captain lesson to by applying the basic shapes as talking for the head off the captain to over words for the rest off the body. In this caves, we saw that the Siamese kept us of various land of body shape. So the overalls and drawing here a red and narrow and long the three circles are now already defining the main proportions. A slam dunk it but nevertheless ready tor through the years, a red epic, triangular shaped there. Rick Clear Focus off this cat breed. According to our analysis at the beginning of the class, the eyes of the cat are positioned right in the middle off its head as the head off the Siamese cat is so small and fine the eyes are very prominent in its face. It's Mosley's older, very slender and comparatively long when looking at the one of other cat breeds. It's Mosler has a very well defined, shaped as it's for is very short. You it's but it is long and slender, as this is a special characteristic off this cat breed. I'm exaggerating here a bit, but trying the feet extra thin and long the same with the whole body. The shoulders are very delicate. Oppose should appear elegant and slender as the tales were special as well. Due to its color, I'm positioning it on the side well visible you, to my own research alert that many Siamese cats that were coming from Taylor and had a kink in their tail. Nowadays, this is different. The king doesn't seem to be a deserved feature anymore, so this kink was eradicated by the breeders for creating a more playful drawing. I'm adjusting the position off the head when it is slightly tilted sideways. Its body language is different. It's looking more relaxed and yes, maybe more curiously, and was the defining the position of the length of the whiskers here in this rough sketch, in order to have a clearer feeling about the and results as this captures the bases and the most important part of the drawing. It is the best moment for corrections and proportion controls because it is much easier to correct the rough seas shapes here than to redraw the lines in the finished drawing. Assume this. We have finished and controlled this basics catch. We can start with the outlines. The first this cat is read a short time, indicating it only a little bit here. But rowing it kind off, wave like pattern after the years, be aware off, drawing the tips off the years not to pointing. We've already defined the position off the size of the eyes before so we can go on outlining them. I'm keeping an eye on the fact that there should be Alban shaped, and they will play a central role in the final drawing off the cat because of the eye catching bright blue color. It's Mosley's various Lando's well on drawing, you find clearly defined nose, and that was a clear shape for the muscle to sum up the structure of its head. The years a triangular shaped but not to point it. The eyes are Ellman shaped and quite big for its little face on the mostly small and well visible jittery short hair, and the entire hat is formed in a dry, angular shape. They kept pupils are responding to the light is do our human pupils as well. But there was an indicator for the cats mood. When the cat is aroused, my anger fear order by pleasure, the pupils and narrow for extreme emotions like the excitement or anxiety. The pupils are wider in our drawing and decided to make a mixture off these two variations as its poses read. Read a relaxed And because this shape off the pupils is so much cat like as the faces so clearly defined by the color pattern around the eyes and the muscle, we indicate the shape here with the outlines. Already, as there aren't a lot of outlines for the whole face of the cat, these outlines are very decisive. So before coloring, this is the moment toe correct, everything that isn't clear on expressing the typical trades off a Siamese cat. Let's draw the years a bit bigger and the for a bit less fluff it as its code isn't so thick. The rest off its bodies in very complex but airlines that I'm drawing important for the post, so they need to be in the right place with the right shape. That's why I'm redrawing several times and correcting these lines a big advantage off Dick . It'll drawing, by the way, for drawing on paper. I would define the lines much, clearing this catching face so that the inclines are clearly defined under right place. - I find that outlines indicate the place of the dark for PETA, and I'm doing their whiskers and a separate layer so that I can easily correct them when they haven't the right form. Just right from the beginning. The outlines are now finished and the cactus ready for coloring. In this case, I will color it in a red, a simple way with a bit of shading. But you can also draw a realistic for no matter if you are working with a sketch book or with a pet. For more information about the texture off differ on how to create the fluffy affect. Your welcome to overlook on my sculpture class at drawing for for this drawing, I'm focusing less on the for aspect, but more in the cartoon style. So off the coloring, the whole kept with the bright for a color and shading parts behind its front legs in order to emphasize its sitting position. The tail has the same dark color. Is the legs and its face ever ready marked the darker areas with the outlines, so I'm simply filling out these spaces on them. Adding a shadow here is well for creating a more three dimensional effect. For the face. We have a swell, redefined outlines, but one now filling with the dark color as follows with the fading off. This brown for the face has often a really dark brown color, but we still want the cat to be cute. I'm leaving out the eyes and in them zip it so eyes and nose and now surrounded by the light of brown. For now, I'm coloring the eyes and a separate layer. First of all, I filled him with white color and then I'm adding highlights in the sent off the bugle. Only some little dots too great. The more sparkling glands andan important characteristic here and the finalizing off are kept. Drawing is the striking latte blue color off its eyes, and here it is. Our could tune likes. I means cat 6. 3-min-sketches: lesson 53 minutes catches and then that exercise for getting to know a cat and for learning the hand. The lines, How to dry kit is by making three minutes exercises. I absolutely love these three minutes catches because they're not time consuming their easily into credible in the daily life of the most important reason for those quick three minutes catches is that the Hamp loans the lines. So which means that the Muslim memory gets lots off precious drawing informations within minutes, a daily three minutes cat will have an incredible effect on your cats drawing style, and you will quickly learn which characteristics are important to sketch the cats. So it's a really wonderful method that I a strongly recommend you to do on a daily basis. You only need a sheet of paper, a pen or pencil and the stopwatch, or now a glass or a phone in order to count to three minutes on the picture off the cat you want to sketch. You're welcome to use the pictures that I've put in the download field for a 1st 3 minutes . Catch off choosing this cat. I guess it's a European Fort Help before starting to sketch a look at the cat and dried capture all the important traits. The shape off Rebeck, the way she curls to tail and size off the ears. Okay, so everything is now ready for this catch. Let's start and focus fully on this catch without thinking off anything else as no good or bad. So don't touch your drawing afterwards. Your hand has learned a lot after the three minutes, no matter how the reason looks like so there is no wrong and right. Don't focus on the perfect line. Just redraw the lines. If you think it's good, the advantages over that it doesn't no time and no need to compare to proportions as we did before. But your brain and your hand will do that automatically, and this is also part of this exercise. The hand is laugh out a lot doing these three minutes, so if you want to do exactly the same, cats catch again. The redrawing of the picture will have an enormous effect also on your drawing, because the ham can immediately reuse this freshly learned lines off this catch before otherwise, when you need a bit off a change, let's do another one one off the outline. Cats off lesson to, for example, We've already analyzed them before, so let's plunge instantly into this three minutes. Catch and woes. Three minutes can be a really long time as this cactus red assembly, simply in its shape, mainly dry able without lines. So it's simply continuous, the next cat to sketch until the end off. This ruminants, so feel free to do these three minutes catches on a daily basis. It's perfect for any animals or for persons, for objects, for anything, so you could continue doing animal studies this way. 7. Your project: class in six your project for a class project, they're likely to choose a photo off a cat. I have put several pictures in the download field, so you're free to use them as well. I'd like you to draw the cat in different styles in the most catch your version or in a three minutes catch as well as in more detail portrayed drawing like I've drawn it on the APP it before feel free to share Bro checked in the project field over there so that we can talk about it. And if you would like Toa uploaded on Instagram, it would be brilliant if you take me with Rahman illustration. I've noted it here so that I can give you a future. And don't forget to add the hashtag skill share class because Kill Judaism loves to feature the students project. If you have any questions, or if you would like to tell us more about your own cat observations or experiences, you can write it down in the conversation fields that I'm looking forward it on. I'm also looking so much forward toe over it projects and sketches. It was really fun to me to make this animal study with you. Thanks a lot for watching See you five