Sleeping cat - critique&tips


This picture is my first attempt at realism (or at least realism/toony look). There are a few things I’m not really satisfied with, and I was wondering if you could give me a few pointers on how I could do better in my next piece, and possibly critique since I want to get better at this type of colouring (that is, painting without lines).

Done in Photoshop CS
(the photo reference is in the bottom left corner. I wasn’t going for a full-fledged re-creation, but used it more as a guideline)

E.g. I was wondering if you had any pointers on how to make the lines smooth? The stripes for example are so dodgy… is there any way to make them look more smooth? (by using the smudge tool perhaps?)

Thanks for reading :slight_smile:


I found that if I use differen size brushes at low opacity and slowly clos in on the area’s I can use the smudgy version and just tighten it up a bit, but still leaves the softer base layer intact.

It looks really cool, nice pic. Good luck.

PS: I meant you can just sample the colours probably and use some very faint strokes to soften it all. Orthe smudge tool, but that seems unwieldy to me but I use the bleed function in Painter a lot.


This is a lovely picture! Great painting and a very striking subject. To me, the area under the cat’s neck still looks a little bit odd, like not very furry. Sorry I don’t know exactly how you should fix it, but imo it’s the only thing you need to sort before it looks finished :slight_smile: and maybe also lighten the highlights on the chair if you want to bring out more of the wrinkles in the cloth.

Looks great though :slight_smile:


Fantastic contrast. My only critique is that I noticed the highlights in your photo have a blueish green tint to the right. Where the highlights come across that arm and cushion. On the left you could put very subtle reddish brown tint to that area. I guess what I mean to say is Bring some color into your shadows and highlights.

Fantastic! I love kitties and my doggy does too!


Thank you so much for your comments, they help a lot and are highly appreciated :smiley:

BlueEyeLizard: Hmm didn’t notice that before you pointed it out. I’m a real lousy painter and am trying to learn it now once and for all (don’t know how to use colour at all :P). I’ll definitely remember this ^^


Identifying colors is not easy. It took me up until my senior year in college to realize that shadows and highlights are full of color. A good experiment to do is to bring your concept photo into photoshop and get the eye dropper tool Click on certain sections of your photo. You will then see the solid color swatch in your pallet, double click the swatch and it will show you if its in the blue range or green or red so on. It’s just a simple way to pull out colors that are hard to identify while in the photo. I had a teacher that told us never to use straight black. Always ad purple, red or blue to it. It will richen your black. Adding a touch of color to white can make a big difference too. Taking a color theory class is well worth your time. Even if it’s not digital painting the same theories apply to any art. Even though I have graduated college I still consider myself a novice in some areas. I think art is a lifelong learning process.

If you want more help post your concept photo much larger and I can help show you more of what I mean. I am a terrible writer, typer and speller so I hope this made sense.


that looks amazing. nice job.


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.