Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to Make a Flat Cat, Part 3

Welcome back, kitties!  Thanks for sticking with us!

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.

 This is my pencil drawing.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to put the ear hair in on the farther ear, and I thickened the ear up a little so it wouldn't bend so easily (it still will, alas).

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.

MMM's nose didn't turn out very well because I should have used the very tip of the Sharpie, and her lip looks square.  Luckily, that will be cut away, and her nose can be fixed when coloring.  The lines around her eye look a little ragged, but her face is dark, so I don't think that will be noticeable.  There's a small stray line on her chin that can be fixed when coloring too.

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.


The Furries of Whisppy said...

Mommy has some Sharpies so we'll get her practicing! But trust us, she really isn't good at drawing....

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

My human does have a certain amount of artistic skill (I won't say talent because I don't think she is any great shakes as an artist), but I can see how this would be a learning curve for humans who haven't been to art classes and know drawing basics. I bet it's a fun project for anyone who is artistically inclined, though!

Pat Hatt said...

I'd have to outline indeed, if at all possible for me haha


Oui Oui
This was ALL great advice!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

guys...we bee lookin forwerd ta mondayz post....R mom tried sum tips last nite N weelllllll....if ewe ever wants like a.... ale ee un flat cat.... gives uz a call :) we dee sided dai$y iz knot a good eye dea ta start with coz her furz goez everee wear...thanx again for de tips N triks !!

Kitties Blue said...

Mom says thanks for taking a few days off to give her a chance to practice and see if she has any chance of accomplishing this. Mom knows just how much work has gone into each of these instructional posts and is sending a HUGE THANK YOU! Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

Avalon's Garden and Mewsings of Garden Cottage Cats said...

We thinkz efurythin lookz wonderful! da mom sayz dat when she doez anything artistic she iz her own wurs critic! she seez thinz no-one else would efur efen notice.
We thinkz dey are GREAT! ♥♥xoxo♥♥

wildcatwoods said...

Great job - we made flat cats out of our photos!

cats of wildcat woods

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

We love the idea of having "flat-cats" of all of us. But TBT doesn't have a steady hand. He needs a ruler to draw a barely straight line. When he tries to draw a circle, it looks more like a football.

Team Tabby said...

I think if we look hard enough around here, we will find a lot of those supplies.

Katie Isabella said...

YOu did a superb job detailing it all. Mom and I are in awe and we're not kidding!

meowmeowmans said...

Wow. All we can say is that we are super impressed! We're looking forward to Monday"s lesson. :) Big hugs!