Our Flat Cats.
I suggest you work from a photo of your cat. It will help you with the correct proportions and colors. You want your flat cat to have a wide base so it will be stable, so poses sitting up and laying down are best. I've found some good images by looking up "white cats" through Google Images.
Nice wide base, good shot of face.
Good shot if you are going to use a photo.
The base of this may have to be modified a little. Good if you are going to try drawing the kitty.
This is good, the feet and tail will make a nice base. Perhaps the small dark area behind the front feet could be modified and filled in with fur if you are drawing, but it would work as a photo too.
This cutie would need some modification, especially on the left side,
and the paws could be pulled in a little.
Best used as a drawing.
I am going to start with the easiest way and work up to free hand drawing.
The easiest way, of course, is to enlarge a photograph to the size you want the flat cat to be. If your photo becomes pixelated or you can't blow it up large enough to suit you, then you will need to be a little more creative.
The next easiest way is to blow up a photo in black and white on a copier then color it to match your kitties. If you have a photo you love, try blowing it up on the copier at work. Your employer will love this! When you have it to the proper size, then its ready for coloring.
If you don't have a photo to use, try Googling "white cats" and look for a kitty with the same basic body shape as yours that can be colored to look like your cat. Then blow it up. A dark contrasting background helps.
Perhaps you are a little more creative and would like to draw your kitties, but don't feel very confident about your abilities. You can again blow up a photo to the right size then tape it up in a window, tape a blank sheet of sheet over it and then trace it. Perhaps you have a projector and can project the image on a wall then trace it that way. Maybe you could trace it very gently and carefully on your monitor.
Then there is free hand drawing, but I am going to cover that in another post. We are going to go back to tracing the image because I think most people would feel more comfortable doing that.
Here I've traced a photo of MMM.
I forgot to take a photo of Carl's tracing when it was in the window. I really don't think this one works because it doesn't have a wide base, but I am going to use it to show coloring techniques, so I am not worried about that.
I then removed the tracings and firmed up the lines while studying the original photo and the copy I traced from.
I've drawn 2 possibilities for Carl's base. One has his tail wrapped around to the front and the other shows his hind paw and leg. Remember, one of the great things about drawing is you get to do it your way, and no one can tell you it is wrong. So you can change whatever you like to how you'd like it and that is ok. I've always felt if you want a piece of art to look like a photo, take a picture.
Notice in the last set of drawings I have taken the time to firm up the lines, the eyes, the nose, etc. This is the time when you work out all those details. Use a number 2 pencil, and draw lightly. Enlarge the photos to see my heavy, dark lines are many light ones. And use a decent eraser, not that horrid pink thing at the end of your pencil!
A couple tricks I learned in my college drawing classes many life times ago are: One, look at your drawing upside down and two, look at it in a mirror. You are looking critically for irregularities, like crooked eyes, one side of the mouth not matching the other and things of that nature. Since you traced, you shouldn't have many of these issues, but you should check for them anyway.
Take a little time to think about what you'd like to do and how you'd like to do it, but don't start until we have covered materials. Tomorrow I will talk about materials, coloring media and erasers, then we'll cover drawing without tracing, coloring/ shading and then final assembly. Please forgive me for not doing comments while I write this series, I have a lot of work to do! But if you have questions, leave a comment and I'll answer them.
BTW, We are hosting an event at the Tabby Cat Club today, "What Makes My Home Town Special", so pop on by to read all about some pretty wonderful places!