Today we are going to outline our flat cat with a fine line Sharpie. My tips to you today are:
Always draw in the same direction. I find it easiest to draw from the top and pull the Sharpie towards me. I rotate the sheet often as I go along. Also, don't block where you are drawing to with your hand, rotate a little as necessary so you can see where you are going.
You aren't going to be able to draw your cat in one stroke. Try to match strokes up as well as you can. This requires a steady hand, so support it on the table if you need to. This step gives me the willies because I hate drawing continuous lines, so its the hardest part for me.
When done, use your new, wonderful eraser to erase the lines you have traced. You may not have traced over everything, so you can leave those untraced pencil lines on your drawing for later. See how cleanly a good eraser works? Bliss!
You may notice your lines aren't perfect when you are done erasing, well, that is a sign of a hand made product. Touch them up as best you can. There are ways of dealing with imperfections as you color and cut.
It would probably be helpful to biggify the pix below so you can see the details better.
Here is my outline before erasing. Notice I didn't trace the curve of the hind leg and the line for the back of the front leg. I am thinking the coloring will carry these elements, but I can always trace them in Sharpie later if I don't like the look. Its better to do too little and add later, than to draw something in and regret that you had.
Notice I filled in the pupils. Before you do that, decide where your light is coming from and the small pinprick of light goes on that side. Without that little white spot, the eyes will look lifeless and dull, so its a very important feature. MMM's spot could have been a little bigger, so check out the eyes on Julie's & Oui Oui's flat cats below. I'll talk more about eyes later.
After going through all this, I'd like to say you don't have to outline your kitties at all! Maybe you would like a more natural looking drawing, and that is purrfectly fine! You are the artist and creator, and you get to do whatever you like however you want. If you don't outline, then you will need to keep your pencil lines very light so they don't show when colored in. You might have to lightly erase them, but leave enough to guide you.
That's it! Now we are ready for the best part - coloring! I am going to take a break from flat cats to give me a chance to do some coloring, and get caught up on visiting, emails and other things. These posts don't seem like much, but they are time intensive. We'll resume flat cats on Monday.
So thanks again. In the meantime you can pick up some supplies, and practice coloring with your pastels or pencils so you get a feel for what they are like. And if you don't feel comfortable with a Sharpie, practice, practice, practice on scrap paper first! Then you'll feel like a pro.