Let's Draw Cats Using Simple Shapes | Portia Monberg | Skillshare

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Let's Draw Cats Using Simple Shapes

teacher avatar Portia Monberg, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 3.

      Class Project


    • 4.

      Start with a Vertical Rectangle


    • 5.

      Start with a Horizontal Rectangle


    • 6.

      Start with a Triangle


    • 7.

      Start with a Curved Shape


    • 8.

      Facial Expressions


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Cats are such interesting and expressive creatures. I hope you'll join me in this class where we'll practice drawing cats in all of their splendor using simple shapes. Even if you think you can't draw, you'll be able to create cats with a variety of personalities by the end of this class. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Portia Monberg



Hi. I'm an artist and illustrator living in the SF Bay Area. I've done commercial work for a variety of clients including Shutterfly and Facebook but my Skillshare classes focus on my love of drawing, watercolor and making creative projects for fun. I particularly love drawing animals in a graphic style. I hope to see you in one of my classes soon.

Visit www.portiamonberg.com for some inspirational freebies and to see my other classes.

I'd love to see you on Instagram too! @portiamonberg

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Portia and I am an illustrator, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my fiancee and my black and white cat, and I love drawing cats. Here are some examples of cats that I've drawn recently and posted on Instagram. So this class is all about how to draw cats from simple shapes, were just going to start really easily using rectangles, move onto triangles and then use, um, curved shapes. So I just want to assure you that even if you think you can't draw, you can definitely draw cats. There are a lot of fun. Two draw because they have all sorts of expressions. And if you know cats, they have great personalities. Set up the class in a very user friendly way, and what I mean by that is I'm going to show you the building blocks of drawing a specific cat. Then I'm going to do a watercolor demo, and the reason I'm using watercolor is because it is inherently messy, and I just want to show you that you don't need to have perfect control over your line work or anything like that to draw cats. I mean you could sort of draw a blob and draw a cat. So I just want to make this as simple as possible so that you can get into the fund stuff like drawing facial expressions for your cats. And after the watercolor demo, I'm gonna go back to the basic shapes. So them one at a time on the screen so that you can just follow along and the shape will be up there for enough time so that you can actually draw the rectangle. Then the ears will pop on, and you'll have time to dry the tears. So I would love to hear your feedback. This is the first time that I'm trying this method, and I hope it will work well for you and encourage you to quickly get out your pencil pens , watercolors, whatever you choose to use and participate in the class. 2. Materials: you don't need any specific materials for this class. In fact, I think the best thing to Dio is to just use whatever you have on hand that could be printer paper and a pencil, maybe a pen. If you have markers, you can use those. If you're inspired by the water color that I'm doing, feel free to break out some water color. But the main point of the class is to focus on learning the shapes of the cats. And then you will be ableto I'm render them in any medium that you want. 3. Class Project: for the class project. I'd love to just see a collection of all the cats that you've drawn for the class. So I'm hoping that as I go through the exercises, you will take the time to follow along. And you can draw your own cats with all of the various shapes and then upload them. They don't need to be in, like, collected in one space together. The way these cats are, you can upload one image that will service the cover. But then you can also upload as many additional images as you like. So please feel free to upload as many as you want. I would love to see all of your work. 4. Start with a Vertical Rectangle: we're going to start off by drawing cats using vertical rectangles, and I will show you the basic shapes in outline form. And then I will show you a demo using watercolor. And the reason I'm using watercolor is because it's inherently messy, and I want to show you that you really don't need to be exact When you're painting or drawing cats. They're very forgiving. After the demo, I'm going to display the shapes on the screen in a sequence so that you can draw your cat along with the video step by step. So let's take a look at the steps involved in drawing a simple cat. Start with a vertical rectangle. Add two triangles for years. Using an almond shape, add two eyes, then a nose, a mouth, whiskers, legs and then some lines to define the pause and then finally added tail. All right, so here's the demo. I hope you enjoy watching. So for these 1st 2 cats, I'm going to treat them a little bit like many canvases, and I'm going to make patterns on them a little bit like Bogart cats. And then for the other two, I'll make more catlike patterns. - Yeah , Yeah, everybody for this next set of cats, I'm focusing mostly on giving them expressions to really make them come to life. For a surprised look, give your cat wide open eyes and a little round circle for a mouth For a slightly curious or disapproving look. You can use half circles and have the pupils going off to the side, like in this cat for a board superior cat look used clothes, eyes and have the mouth turning down. Now I'm just adding some details and finishing touches, ready to give drawing cats with vertical rectangles a try. Now I'm going to show you the shapes and sequence so you can draw your own cat along with the video. And please be sure to upload your finished drawings in the projects area. 5. Start with a Horizontal Rectangle: Now let's draw some cats using horizontal rectangles. Our first cat will be lying down and we'll start with Ah, horizontal rectangle with one rounded corner. Next, we'll add a square for the head. And now to pizza wedge shapes for ears, two semi circles for closed eyes and a little triangle shape upside down for his nose and downturned mouth and whiskers to give him a disdainful look. Now let's add two legs with paws and a curved area for the upper thigh. And finally, the tail. Here's the watercolor demo for this funny guy way . Move on to drawing the next cat. I'm going to give you time right here to draw this guy. - All right, great job. Now we'll draw the standing cat. The first few steps are the same as the cat who was lying down, but now we'll add standing lakes and a different style of tail. And here's the demo way. I decided to make his spots using watercolor pencil just to add some visual interest. So let's take the time to give this guy try now, - wait to see how to draw the leaping cat again. He starts in a similar way as toothy cat lying down and the cat standing. But this time his legs will be outstretched and his tail will be high in the air. Take a look at the demo to see just how easy it is to draw a sleeping cat. - Even he's surprised at how far off the ground he can get. Let's try drawing him and now onto our final horizontal cat, the cat playing with yarn. Start with a slightly slanted horizontal rectangle. This cat is laying on her back, so make sure the ears are pointed off to the side. Add the facial features correctly oriented towards the ears. We're gonna emphasize the pause in the bend in the cat's back legs this time. Now we'll add the front paws and define the toes. The last thing is to pop in the ball of yarn and add the tail. Let's take a look at the demo for this fund. For ball. - I'm using a watercolor pencil to draw in the ball of yarn because I have a lot more control than I do with the paint booth. Notice how I turned the paper to draw the face because it's much easier to draw a face in the way that you're used to seeing it. Yeah, So here's your chance to draw this playful cat yourself. 6. Start with a Triangle: Let's draw some cats with triangle shaped bodies. The nice thing about triangles is that you can experiment with different shaped heads really easily, and you can come up with some really fun characters. We start with a long triangle and in this first example will add a football shaped head. Then we'll add two rounded ears, and we can define the inside and the outside of the era bit. Then we'll add the eyes, eyelashes, a nose, the mouth whiskers, ac, haunches, legs, toes and a tail. Let's watch the demo for this cute cat, - So let's take the time now to draw this cat. Let's take a look at how to draw the pink cat with the furry face. We'll start again with a triangle based body, and then we'll add ahead that shows furry cheeks. Now we'll add the facial features, but we'll skip whiskers because they will interfere with the furry cheeks. We'll add a tail and then the top of the legs, the pause air covered by the tail. Here's the demo for glamorous pink cat. - Her face didn't really turn out exactly as I wanted, and I think I prefer just a line between the tail on the body. But that's okay. We're gonna leave this. It's important to realize that everything doesn't always turn out exactly as you hoped. Now let's take the time to draw her step by step. - Now let's draw the little orange lion like cat. The body and tail are similar to the glamorous cat, and then we'll add another unusual shaped head with ears and then the face. And here's the demo. - Yeah , yeah, everybody okay? Time to get out your drawing materials and let's draw this guy. - I change the tail just to give you more variety. Remember to upload all of your drawings into the project section. I can't wait to see what you've made. 7. Start with a Curved Shape: Now we're gonna learn how to draw to sitting cats. Using curved shapes, we'll start with the blue Cat. The first shape is a rectangle with an S curve on one side. Next we'll add ears, then eyes and a nose at a mouth and some whiskers than a tail and the legs. And here's the cat in water color and black ink gave him smiling eyes in the demo and open eyes. In the example. Feel free to use whichever eyes you like best. All right, let's draw this happy little kitty cat. - And now for our final cat, we'll start with the head this time and then add a body with one curve side. Now we'll add the feet a tale and finally the face. And now here's the final demo. - Congratulations for making it this far. In all of the lessons, let's draw this final cat step by stab, and again, be sure to upload all of your drawings in the project area. His eyes were closed in the demo and open um, in this example, but you can choose whatever expressions you want. In fact, we will cover that in a leader section 8. Facial Expressions: If you want to give your cats more personality, play around with facial expressions. It can be really fun to see all the characters that you can come up with and a good way Teoh Figure out what kind of facial expression to give your cat is to put your own face in that expression. So if you're feeling mad, make your face look mad and then either look in the mirror or take a selfie, and then you can use that as reference for your cat or any drawing. I just want to point out a few characteristics here. So for a happy or laughing cat, you can use semi circles pointed upward, and that will be sort of a closed I that looks happy. And if you want proof of this, look at yourself in the mirror when you're smiling and you'll notice that your eyes do make that shape. Um, for the surprise cat, his eyes were wide open and then just a little circle for a mouth. Um, the angry cat. The eyebrows are pointed downward, as are the eyes as you would if you had a furrowed brow. I gave the flirty cat eyelashes and those are always fun to play around with. Another thing to notice is the variety of head shapes. The happy cat has sort of around jolly shaved face. The angry cat has a very square jaw, and the board cat has sort of in a long gated face. If you want to play around with head shapes, please download the pdf that I included in The Resource Is section because it has a bunch of different head shapes that you can practice with hope this will help you infuse more personality into your cats. 9. Exaggeration: another thing to experiment with when drawing your cats is exaggeration. In both of these examples, I've given the cats overly large eyes, and this will sort of give your cat an extra boost of cute nous. Another thing that gives cats an extra boost of cute nous is an overly large head. And that's because in many species, babies have really enormous heads compared to the bodies. So this will give your cat sort of ah, kittenish look. Another thing you can exaggerate is like the cat on the left. You can give it a very long, thin neck or body, and this gives it sort of an elegant look. And then the cat on the rate also has a small body, but it's more compact. So just some things to think about, um, and to play with as your drawing your cats. Exaggeration condemn, Definitely be a fun way to get more personality into your drawings. 10. Final Thoughts: thanks so much for taking the class. I hope you enjoyed it and had fun with the process. I would love to see all the cats that you've drawn. So please feel free to upload them to the project section. And remember that you can upload one file which will automatically servas the cover. But then you also can upload as many more files as you like. So I'd love to see multiple cats. If you can upload those also, if you're interested in drawing birds. I have done a class on that as well. And you can see that under my profile. Okay. Thanks again.