Painting my Cat in Watercolor

Painting my Cat in Watercolor post image

Do you have a pet, a very spoiled little pet that you love with all your heart, and one that accepts––or demands––all the attention you can give? Since I have featured a a little mouse painted in watercolor, here on this site, my sweet cat, Coco, wanted to be featured as well. Of course!

On sunny days Coco loves to climb up onto the windowsill of my studio window when it fills with afternoon warmth, to take long and leisurely naps. I have thousands of photos of Coco napping, but not as many watercolor sketches. So she kindly requested I do a painting of her!

Here I share pictures of the process of painting her highness (Oops, I forgot the crown!)

This is one of the photos I took of Coco:


When I decided to use this photo as a basis for painting a watercolor my cat, I cropped it to create a composition that showed a close up of Coco’s face, and one that defined more interesting shapes.


Then I made a quick study of values, and how the composition translated into a black and white value scale.


Next I outlined those shapes in a more finished fashion.


I then made the first watercolor, but I wasn’t pleased with the dull appearance of the background greens.


So I painted another version with greens that were a bit more vibrant, and also added some texture and detail to the foreground.


Do you think Coco will approve of this last result?

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Susan Garcia April 17, 2018, 10:23 pm

    You really captured Coco’s essence!

    • Leyla Torres April 18, 2018, 8:27 am

      Thank you Susan, I’m happy you liked it! It was a great exercise on light and shadow… and of course, it’s always a pleasure to have our dear Coco as a model.

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