I needed to draw a cat for my picture book Bears on the Stairs, but unfortunately the cute puss Maddy, who might have been my model, had gone back home. Drat!
Fortunately I remembered a wonderful old book I've had since I was a teenager, called Drawing A Cat. It was printed in 1945 (!) and was originally a present from my Dad to my Mum, who also loved to draw. Mum gave it to me when I showed real interest in drawing.
It's great for reference, which is very useful to help make any animal drawing 'believable'. I sketched various key poses from Clare Turlay Newberry's wonderful observational drawings, to create this crib sheet to work from:
I talk a bit more about this process and how good visual reference helps to make your cat's poses believable, in this short film:
I also demonstrate step-by-step how I draw a cat in this next film, which you might find helpful if you are trying to improve your character drawing:
Despite these antics, cats have been a favourite in our house for a long while. Before she sadly died, I used to draw our cat Smudge every year for my husband, as a birthday card. I chose various activities they shared. This is an illustration of the nightly battle to get Smudge into the kitchen so we could go to bed:
As you can probably tell, she was a very grumpy cat, who would much rather have come upstairs to bed with us...
Around the same time as I drew the illustration above for John, I also drew a rather cuter cat for a very important job indeed.
You can find out why Puss is tied up and, if you are a new illustrator, read about how to publicise yourself and contact publishers here.