How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Who doesn’t love kittens? They’re so cute and fluffy! In this tutorial I will show you how to draw a fluffy kitten from scratch, with a bow on its neck for even more cuteness. As a bonus, I will also show you how to shade and color it quickly in Adobe Photoshop!

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Disclaimer: this process only shows how to draw a kitten in one particular pose and style. If you want to draw a more realistic cat, check out this tutorial:

  • How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step
    Drawing
    How to Draw Animals: Cats and Their Anatomy
    Monika Zagrobelna

1. How to Sketch a Kitten’s Body

Step 1

Start with a simple rectangle—this will be the main body of the kitten. You don’t need to use a ruler for this; it’s just a sketch.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

Draw a circle next to the rectangle. This will be the head. Again, it doesn’t need to be a perfect circle.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Imagine a cross in the center of the kitten’s face, and then “move” it towards the direction the kitten is looking in.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Draw a vertical line under the body to touch the “ground”. Then sketch the perspective of the ground to know where to put the paws.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

Draw one set of paws…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… then the other one. Can you see now what we needed the perspective lines for?

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

Finally, draw the tail.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

2. How to Draw a Kitten in Perspective

Step 1

Draw the front of the kitten’s shoulder. Leave some space for the neck.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

Draw the back part of the shoulder.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Draw the other shoulder using the perspective lines as a reference.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Draw the fluffy thigh…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… and create another one in the back.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

Draw stumpy legs reaching the ground.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

Attach paws to the legs.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 7

Add one more finger on the side. It should be roughly rectangular.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 8

Connect the hind legs with the thigh.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 9

To create the tail, cross its line with width-lines…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… then outline them.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 10

Finish the form of the body.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

3. How to Draw a Kitten’s Head

Step 1

Attach a teardrop-shaped muzzle to the circular head.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

Divide the muzzle into four parts.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Draw a line across these parts to define its 3D shape—it’s the outline of the muzzle seen in side view converted to this 3/4 view.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Draw two lines from the middle of the muzzle towards the brow line.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

Draw the forehead, creating some space for the eyes.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

Put circular eyes in that space.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 7

Draw the triangular nose under the halfway point of the muzzle.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 8

Draw two lines going downwards the muzzle from the nose.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 9

Use these lines as guide lines for the smile.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 10

Draw the chin right under the smiling mouth.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 11

Go from the corners of the mouth and around the face to define its outline.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 12

Attach cat ears to the top of the head.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 13

Add details to the shape of the ears.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

4. How to Draw a Ribbon Bow and Finish the Drawing

Step 1

Draw a collar around the kitten’s neck.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

Draw the center part of the bow under the kitten’s chin.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Draw wavy sides of the bow.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Copy the waves towards the center, creating the folds.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

Outline the folds.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

Finally, draw all the kitten details over the sketch. Feel free to go your own way here!

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

5. How to Prepare a Drawing for Digital Painting

We’re done with drawing, and here’s a bonus part, if you want to color your kitten digitally. You just need a graphics tablet and Adobe Photoshop for it, and a set of basic brushes, for example the one you can download here:

  • How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step
    Adobe Photoshop
    How to Create and Use a Set of Brushes for Digital Painting in Adobe Photoshop
    Monika Zagrobelna

Step 1

Prepare your line art for digital work. If you’ve drawn it traditionally, clean it up and remove the background first:

  • How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step
    Drawing
    Quick Tip: Clean Up Your Traditional Drawings in Photoshop
    Monika Zagrobelna
  • How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step
    Line Art
    Quick Tip: Remove the White Background From Line Art in Adobe Photoshop
    Monika Zagrobelna

Step 2

Open your digital line art and create a New Layer underneath.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Click the line art layer and lower its Opacity to make it only half visible.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Take a hard, precise brush (for example Ink from my set), select a vivid color, and draw a basic outline of the kitten on that lower layer. Make sure the outline is closed!

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

Use the Magic Wand Tool (W) and click the area inside the outline.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

Fill the area using the trick described in this one minute video:

  • How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step
    Adobe Photoshop
    Photoshop in 60 Seconds: How to Properly Fill a Drawn Outline
    Monika Zagrobelna

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 7

Lock transparent pixels for this layer. This way you’ll be painting only inside the outline from now on.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

6. How to Shade a Kitten in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

Select a dark shade of gray, about 25%.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

Paint over the kitten body. Can you see how locked transparency keeps the color from crossing the outline?

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Select a brighter shade, about 50%.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Take a brush with transparency controlled by the pressure of your pen (for example my Sketch Detail). Paint the body of the kitten, staying away from the lines.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

Take the Mixer Brush Tool now (hold the Shift key and press B four times). We need its default settings, so if you have used it before, open its menu and select Reset Tool.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

“Paint” over the shading with this tool to soften it. This is how it should look under the line art.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 7

Let’s continue with another level of shade. This time make it quite bright, about 70%…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… paint the surface illuminated generally by the light source…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… and blend it with the Mixer Brush Tool.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 8

Take an even brighter shade (about 90%)…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… give more light to the directly illuminated parts…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… and blend it.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 9

Finally, pick white…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… give it to the brightest points…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… and blend it all.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 10

That was light. Now we need to add a special kind of shadow that will give detail to this lighting sculpture. Take the Lasso Tool (L) and select an area that’s behind another object, for example the paw in the background.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 11

Take a very soft brush, a dark shade, and gently darken the area right behind the obstacle.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 12

Do the same with all the other blocked areas. Can you see how detailed it became?

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 13

Hold the Control key and click both layers, and then right click them and select Merge Layers. We’re going to paint right over them now.

Take that shading brush again and paint over the soft shades and the line art to cover them with patches of shades. Use the Eyedropper Tool (hold the Alt key while painting) to pick the shade from an area, and then paint over it. This is a great method to create the impression of fur.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

7. How to Modify Your Digital Painting

Step 1

The best thing about digital painting is that it can be modified freely! So let’s say we want to change the shape of our kitten’s tail. Go to Filter > Liquify and use the Forward Warp Tool (W) to reshape it. Be careful—you have only one Control-Z in this mode!

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

This mode allows you do everything with the painting! I decided to make the eyes slightly smaller with the Pucker Tool (S).

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

OK… now they’re too small, so I’d better modify the muzzle to fit them.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

And the ears turned out too big for this big muzzle, so let’s change them too.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

I… think it looks more like a big cat now, so let’s adjust the rest of the body to that bigger size as well.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

The neck is too short for this bigger kitty, so let’s fix it. Use the Lasso Tool (L) to select the head and drag it to its new position with the Move Tool (V).

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Use the Lasso Tool (L) again to select the area that’s missing from the body now.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Go to Edit > Fill and select Content-Aware. Press OK and see the neck filled!

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

After all these modifications, we need to adjust the shading too. So take your shading brush and paint it again.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

8. How to Color a Digital Painting

Step 1

Shading is not everything! Let’s add some color now. Right click the layer and select Duplicate Layer. Change the Blend Mode of the copy to Multiply. This mode makes the dark parts of the layer darken the colors underneath.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 2

Lock transparent pixels for the original layer. We’re going to paint on it again.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 3

Take a soft brush and color the kitten freely. First the general colors…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… then the details.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 4

Our kitten is shaded, but it looks very dark. Let’s add some light! Duplicate the upper layer again and change its Blend Mode to Overlay. This mode makes the bright parts of the layer lightening the colors underneath, but its dark parts work just like the Multiply mode…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 5

… so we need to make some adjustments. Right click the layer and select Blending Options. Go to the Blend If section and drag the upper black marker to the right. Can you see how the dark parts of the layer disappear?

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 6

To make the transition smoother, hold Alt and split the marker. You can now drag both halves to achieve the effect you want.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 7

There’s one more problem with the Overlay mode, though—it brightens both bright values and dark values the same, but black shouldn’t reflect so much light, no matter how strongly you illuminate it! Blend If has a solution for this problem as well: just drag the lower marker to exclude the dark parts from the Overlay Mode.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

This marker can be split as well.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

If I got you intrigued by this powerful, yet relatively unknown tool, check out this quick tutorial to understand how it works:

  • How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step
    Digital Painting
    Quick Tip: the Magic of Photoshop’s Blend If
    Monika Zagrobelna

Step 8

This shading is very rough, though, so we need to adjust it manually now. That’s how it is with Photoshop—it does some magic, but in the end it’s you who must create the painting!

Take your shading brush and paint the details using the Eyedropper Tool all the time to keep everything as suggested by the lighting.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 9

When you’re done, you can create another level of detail by making the image bigger (Control-Alt-I)…

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

… and painting with a very small brush that wasn’t available in that previous resolution.

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

Step 10

You’re done! Now add some shadow and/or background, and save it in a smaller resolution to publish (nobody needs to see the “working” resolution). You can also experiment with sharpening for the final touch (Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen).

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step

So Cute!

Now you know how to draw a kitten, and how to paint it quickly digitally using Adobe Photoshop. What? That painted kitten doesn’t look like a kitten? How dare you! Wild bear-cats need love too…

Before you go, don’t forget to check the date!

How to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by StepHow to Draw a Super Cute Kitten Step by Step