Over the years, I’ve come across quite a few little cats roaming in the neighbourhood. Stray cats are not common in the Netherlands as they are under strict control and quickly homed in catteries for people to adopt. More likely these cats belong to neighbours and they are let out so they can wander around freely. I’ve familiarized myself with a few of them because they are so adorable! There is naughty Ginger (I don’t know what she’s really called but I’ll call her that!), then Bram the grey cat that belongs to the lawyer in my Amsterdam apartment downstairs and a random black one I’ll call Kuroneko-chan (means little black cat) and occasionally spot crossing the street near the local supermarket. And I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to practice drawing about them digitally!
First I made the background light blue and then began adding some special effects like white clouds and green swordgrass as First Layer. Then I added another layer but moved it below that first layer of clouds and grass so the cats would be behind the grass. The first cat, Ginger, was airbrushed on and colorfilled. The other two were then duplicated by making new layers for each, with one of them flipped over vertically. By dragging in the grey from the palette, I managed to change the colors of the other two cats to grey. Fun experiment so far!
Successful with the grey, I in turn changed the far right cat to black. Though not too obvious, I practiced again shading techniques by masking each cat shapes and blending in a darker colour on the edges. And here comes the even funner part. Drawing in the eyes! This time, I wanted to try drawing perfect eclipses and circles, then duplicating them on the other cats. You can either make these perfect shapes by pressing the autoshape menu or by simply drawing something round and holding the stylus pencil long enough so it automatically turns into a proper shape. Once I was happy with them, I simply merged the sub-layers for each individual cat. That way, if I wanted to move or change size of any of them, I just need to slide each as a whole rather than in bits.
The Whole Picture
I made each of the cats a bit larger and moved them a bit around, especially the black one as she was too hidden behind the grass. By then returning to the cloud and grass layer, the grass was also worked on a bit more adding some darker green to give more dimension. I also added more clouds to add more volume to the sky. Then I realised I had forgotten the cats’ whiskers! I then went back to each cat and drew them in using the colors to match with the eyes. If you draw a line and hold the pencil on the screen long enough, the line straightens. How cool is that! And here are my three little kittens!
Another fun practice with digital art! So today, it was about duplicating, moving and expanding shapes as well as shading and creating perfect shapes and straight lines. A simple painting again but I wanted to pursue a cute theme and thus it needed not be too elaborate. And such a cute theme indeed that I might like to make a hand painted version of this on paper! Meanwhile, I shall keep practicing and whatever I find interesting to replicate by hand, I shall definitely go for it!