Kitten

This time I'm going to show you creation process of a quick drawing of 2-weeks old kitten. It was just another exercise and in the same time a challenge to draw animal's fur. Little one was drawn based on ~softer's photo, you can see it here: Kitten.

As always any feedback is more than welcome, especially all kinds of questions. After all I wish for this tutorial to help somebody improve :)

Kitten

I start from a blank paper, this time it was 1800 x 1800 pixels and 100 dpi. It was painted in black and white and at certain point color was added. But now, as we are at the very beginning, everything remains gray and I am trying to plan how the image is going to look like. With the help of my favorite and simple soft brush I put some first spots and lines. I don't care about the anatomy of the kitten, if something goes wrong I'm going to fix it later.

While painting fur on kitten's snout I first paint dark and light places with the soft brush and after it's done I switch to small and hard brush to paint small lines, which and supposed to play the role of actual fur. As for now it doesn't maybe look terrific, but this stage is actually very important - I need to decide on my kittens color and in the same time I fix anatomical mistakes (for example I needed to move one eye a little ;D). Fur-lines which are too hard are next smoothed with special tool (smudge tool).

Kitten Kitten Kitten

Patiently drawing all those small lines (there's nothing complicated in that....), light and dark ones, depending on the color underneath, I slowly finish kitten's head. The more lines I draw and the smaller they are, the better this whole fur will look at the end. It's also important to change direction of the lines, fur is very unlikely to look like that, especially when it comes to such little, ruffled cat ;) I spend a while drawing nose, dots for mustache and giving him the right face expression ;3 That's one of the differences between first and second image below.

Kitten Kitten Kitten

At this moment I decided to add a little color to the whole picture. I create a separate layer and add some random colors on the background, I color eyes, nose and put also a little bit of color to the fur (it helps everything to blend nicely together). You will find more technical tips HERE - in a short tutorial about coloring black and white pictures in Photoshop.

Next, I try to draw fur on the rest of the kitten's body. Again I start from simple spots - black and white ones, I don't use any colors. Whole color is on the separate layer which I probably won't touch anymore.

Kitten Kitten Kitten

Kitten

After painting all this fur I give little kitty some claws :D Well, that's very important part of the cat, even small one :D For such detail I use hard brush. Few lines of fur covering the claw helps it to fit in place and not look as something separate from kitten's body. After finishing paws I draw the last part of fur and blur it away, to achieve a feel of depth. Only some finishing touches remain, as adjusting lights and shadows a little (you can use a tool for that, but it's not recommended - most of times it will leave ugly traces).

Well, little kitty is finished ;D