Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Drawing With Cat

So here we go! The first ever Drawing With Cat Wednesday!!!

First, things you'll need:

  • One dullish HB pencil
  • One 0.5 automatic pencil
  • One white artist eraser
  • One basic Bic Round Stic Ballpoint Pen
  • One brightly lit work station
All right! Today, we're going to draw a fairly basic fantasy girl. I love draping garments and floatsy hair, so that's why I tend to veer toward fantasy.

First, we're going to start with a very sketchy, fluid diagram like this. Basically, all you want to do here is visualize your character's stance. You want everything to be very loose and free. Use the HB pencil for this bit. It doesn't leave a very hard impression in the paper, so it's easier to erase.

Next, you want to add little box-like dimensions to your character. These will help keep your perspective constant. These boxes create the structure around the fluid lines of your mannequin. Using quick, light strokes, add circles on the mannequin's arms and legs to mark where the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles are.

Still using the HB pencil, flesh out the character. Using light strokes, fill out the arms and legs while gently enhancing the waist, hips, and chest. This tends to be my experimental section. This is where my biggest changes will occur, whether or not I like an angle of an arm or leg, or if I think a foot should be pointed or flat. Feel free to experiment as well. Don't get too detailed here. At this stage, everything should still be extremely sketchy.

With a small eraser, get rid of every line that could be construed as "sketchy". Now, graduate to the automatic pencil. Still using an extremely delicate touch, even more delicate now you're using a sharper pencil, go over the mannequin's physique, gently enhancing curves and joints while being careful to keep that sense of freedom. Lightly touch in the eyes, nose, and mouth. Add the hands and toes.

Now that the mannequin is complete, time to throw on some clothes! Again, always being very gentle and light of touch, sketch in the very basic outlines of a floatsy shirt, a flaring skirt, and a very flimsy scarf. Add little broken lines around the bottom of the skirt, to "see" how the skirt wraps around the entire body. Around her waist, lightly draw in a belt. Last, sketch in a couple wavy lines off her head. This will become hair later. 

This part is pretty simple. Using an artist's eraser, get rid of all the lines you can see through the clothes, such as her legs and arms. However, where the scarf falls, don't erase those lines completely. Lighten them significantly, but allow the lines to sort of "show" through the fabric. This will give the scarf a very thin, delicate appearance later. Fill out the hair, using lines to depict full hanks of hair rather than individual strands.

This part is a two-step process. First, using your Bic pen, trace over the entire picture, changing the pencil lines from pencil to pen. The only part you want to avoid is the upper body area that you can see through the scarf. Take care while tracing around her face. As with the pencil, use very, very light motions with the pen. Don't press too hard. Once all the lines have been penned in, take the artist's eraser and erase every bit of pencil. except for the middle section where the scarf lies. That bit you want to keep in pencil. You should now have a very clean, finished-looking drawing, devoid of pencil. But we're not done yet!

Now we'll apply the first layer of shadow. For this, you get to go back to the HB pencil. I like to really darken the underside of her hair near her face, just to give it really good contrast. Now, gently shadow the sleeve on the left, completely filling it in. Add shadow to the underside of the right sleeve as well as the interior fabric where it falls around her arms. Darken the interior portion of her shirt, and add a very, very light shadow around the shirt hem and to the "folds" in the rop part of her shirt. Darken most of her feet, leaving little splashes of light around the ankles. Looking at the mannequin, very gently shadow the left side of her face.

Now, go over the entire picture, using heavier strokes to lay down a thicker layer of shadow. Make everything on the left side of the picture quite dark in shadows, gradually lightening your strokes as you move around to the right. Use the HB pencil to add a "plaid" pattern  to the scarf. Keep your strokes very light. There should still be a hint of her shirt and belt showing through the pattern. Use the automatic pencil to shade in the rest of her hair. Alternate hair shadows with patches of solid colour interspersed with streaky, sketchy lines. Add a splash of dark HB pencil "scribble" beneath her feet, to ground her. Ta Da! Your first Drawing With Cat tutorial is complete!

I hope you learned something. Please feel free to leave a comment if you felt like something was not explained clearly, or if you'd like to have an extra step diagrammed. Also, if you try this picture, I'd LOVE to see any finished projects! (Hint hint)

See you on Saturday, then. Until that blessed time, God Bless!



  1. Cat, I loved the tutorial and wish I had your talent! I better stick to writing.

  2. Well, Cat, I have not attempted to draw this yet, but it looks like a really good tutorial. The explanation is very clear, and the drawing is lovely. As usual.

    1. Thanks, Mahri. How has your drawing been going? I saw the pictures you posted on your blog. It's coolio to see you've gotten back to that.

  3. Amazing, Cat. I couldn't do that even if you moved my hand for me. LOL.

    1. I would LOVE to move your hand for you! But, that's why I posted step by step. Are you gonna try? Huh? Huh? Are you?!!? ;-)

  4. Oh wow, this is a wonderful tutorial, Cat. I was such a lazy sketcher, I used to skip straight to Step 4. One of my main problems is with sketching as lightly as possible. I always leave marks on the paper.

    1. Yeah, I did too, Claudine. That's when I decided lighter was better. I hated ruining pictures because I couldn't get the pencil marks OFF. I'd love to see your sketch, if you try this tutorial. Maybe link to my blog? That would be lovely. :)

  5. you make me sick;

    "Oh just shadow here, draw a swoopy line there, but lighting there... add anothers layer; WALLA!! A perfect picture.

    Really fantastic Kit. You are amazing :)
    God Bless


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