Tips and Techniques for Drawing a Photo Realistic Cat in Colour using Pastel Pencils

Creating realistic pet drawings for clients & capturing a true likeness along with all the detail is crucial. In this blog post I want to talk you through how I created this realistic cat portrait drawing using purely pastel pencils. I mainly draw in colour as I believe it makes for a more impactful portrait when compared to B+W drawings which are also great in their own way, but rather for a more formal result. A colour portrait on the other hand will bring out the many subtle colours and tones found in the fur along with the colour in the eyes which can really captivate a viewer and create a certain wow factor.

What materials do I use? For colour pet portraits, I draw with pastel pencils. Mainly, Carbothello & Faber Castell pastel pencils, on occasion I will use PanPastels or Unison pastel sticks but not always as I find they tend to block up the paper quickly. Pastels in either forms have great longevity (lightfastness) so you can rest assured that your clients artwork will stay in prime condition for many years. They are also very pleasing to work with in my opinion and offer great flexibility in technique.

How do I create my realistic artworks? To create my pet pastel portrait drawings, I always use the same technique of putting down a base layer of colour and finish off with fine details on top. Making sure my pencils are continually sharp will allow me to get the details of fur and hair highlights which can really make a portrait stand out. Below are links to videos on YouTube + Patreon to learn my process!

A time-lapse of this drawing process can be found on my YouTube here

I have also uploaded the real-time drawing process video to my Patreon along with a full materials list if you would like to watch my techniques in more detail

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