Cat Oil Painting Process Video
This video shows the complete process for a white cat painting. Zann works in oil paints, and has been commissioned to paint over 100 cats.
Getting the Cat Painting Started with a Sketch on Canvas
I do a lot of squinting in this step. I’m just trying to get the shape of his body roughly right so I can fill in the background. By putting the background in first, I can extend wisps of fur over top later. Because the white and green are already touching, they’ll blend beautifully to create the appearance of soft fur with a hint of the light behind.
It doesn’t look like much more than a white blob at this point, but that shape is the visual outline of the cat. So it’s an important step. If the shape doesn’t read well without all the details, it won’t read well with them, either.
Adding a few shadows to show where Simon's chin and eyes are
Next up, I’m squinting at my reference to understand which parts of the cat’s face and body are in shadow.
If I don’t squint, it’s easy to get distracted by details and the final painting won’t have as much depth. Using a big brush also helps with keeping the focus on shapes instead of textures.
More shadows, until you start to see the cat's face on canvas
Apart from his eyes, I’m still using a big brush. He’s going to look weird at this stage, but that’s ok! Those deep shadows will smooth out as I go.
Now it's starting to look like a white cat in the painting
Finally, I can start doing what oil paints are best at–blending.
I don’t want to over do it, or our white kitty will lose definition and turn back into a white blob. Done right, blending the shadows will make the contrast more gentle while preserving dimensionality.
Further Refinement of the Cat Portrait
With the shapes and shadows of a white cat in the oil painting already, I can start pulling fur out over the green background.
I do this with white on my brush, starting near the edge and pulling outward. Every single stroke needs a wipe on paper towel in between or I risk muddying the edge of Simon’s body and bringing too much green back in to his fur.
Final Oil Painting of our Cat!
By now, I’m working with little brushes for the highlights in the eyes, and the flat of a square brush for the long whiskers.
Lots of quick, clean white strokes fill out his texture and add brightness and detail.
Finally, he looks like himself!
Looking for more Cat Art?
See more of my work in the Cat Portrait Art Gallery.
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To get your own custom cat oil painting on canvas visit my homepage, Paws By Zann. I’d love to bring your vision to life!
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