One of my favorite subjects as an artist is cats. I love working on portraits of cats - my own cats, friends' cats, or any cat I happen to capture in a photograph during my travels. I generally enjoy working on pet and cat portraits using Prismacolor pencils, as the medium is well suited for recreating the texture and appearance of cat fur and building layers of vibrant colors. However, sometimes I experiment with pet portraiture in other mediums such as graphite pencil, oil or watercolor.
Cat Art by Nicole Pellegrini (sockii)
One of my favorite subjects in drawing and painting is doing pet portraiture. Here are some examples of my favorite cat portraits.
Here you will find some of my favorite cat portraits which I've completed through the years. I'll talk a little bit about each piece and the subject - capturing the cat's personality and what made these pieces fun to work on. While the originals of each of these pieces have all been sold or gifted, you can purchase prints in different formats (photo, or Giclee on canvas or paper) through my account on deviantART. You can also purchase other great merchandise there featuring these images, such as coffee mugs, mousepads, greeting cards, postcards, coasters and magnets! So check the items available and you may find a great, unique gift for the cat-lover in your life.
Just click on the image source links below to go to its deviantART product page.
"Camouflage" - Cat Art Drawing
A not-so-successful attempt at hiding
"Camouflage" - Pet portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
This drawing was based on a photograph of one of my friend's cats, Justin. The composition was just so wonderful I had to turn it into a prismacolor piece, and it was quite a challenge to capture all of the folds in the zebra-patterned blanket along with Justin's fur. I completed this piece on watercolor paper, which gave it a more textured final appearance than the smooth Bristol paper I usually use for color pencil work.
"Kinship" - Cat Art Drawing with a Celtic Twist
Inseparable Brother and Sister Felines
"Kinship" - Cat Portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
Meet George and Martha - my fiance's inseparable tabbies. He adopted George and Martha when their first kitty-parents needed to find them a new home or else they faced an uncertain future. These two are extremely affectionate and devoted to their humans, although neither is too pleased that they now have to share a house with my four cats! Here I have drawn them using graphite with a Celtic theme, to illustrate their close bond to each other.
This drawing won the "Best Black and White" Art Award at the 2007 Mobicon convention in Mobile, Alabama.
"Playtime" - Cat Art in Color Pencil
A portrait of my cat Martin being very silly.
"Playtime" - Pet Portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
Martin is one of my rescue cats. I fell in love with him from the moment I saw him in the window at Rittenhouse Pet Supply in Philadelphia, where he was up for adoption because he made his previous owner "nervous" by talking and following him around too much (yes, seriously). Martin is a big love bug and very vocal, and for a rather large and intimidating male tabby can sometimes be very silly as well.
One day I happened to catch him waiting for me to play with him, on his cat bed surrounded by his favorite toys. This made for a fun portrait challenge, and to bring out the colorful toys I added a bright background pattern to make the overall image more lively.
"Watchful Eye" - Cat Art Color Pencil Drawing
Martin being mysterious...
"Watchful Eye" - Pet Portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
As playful as Martin can be, sometimes he likes nothing better than curling up in bed and sleeping away the day. He will definitely give you "The Eye" if you dare disturb him while resting.
One great thing about Martin is he does not get distracted or react to the camera, so he will often stay very still while I am trying to take reference photos of him. Here he did not budge at all until I'd taken about a dozen shots to find just the right one for a drawing - I guess he was far too comfortable to want to move.
"Stretch" - Cat Art Painting
Portrait of Kola in watercolor
"Stretch" - Pet Portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
Kola was one of my grandmother's cats, a small black long-haired kitty who lived to a blessed old age until recently moving on to Kitty Heaven. She always had to get into everything and everybody's business, and despite her small size she ruled the house for many years and could be one tough lady when she wanted to be.Halloween was approaching and I wanted to do a black cat painting, but without the typical "spooky" theme. I like doing astronomical/space art in watercolor, so I decided to combine those themes with a portrait of Kola, mid-stretch. This piece has ended up being one of my most popular cat images to date.
"Companion" - Cat Art Portrait
Bear, a regal giant of a cat
"Companion" - Pet portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
This is a portrait of my mother's beloved cat Bear, who sadly passed on several years ago after a happy, long life. He was a regal, beautiful Maine Coon, the first generation of cats born from a feral mother whom my grandparents had taken in to their home. Bear was incredibly affectionate - and also a bit of a catnip addict! He would cry every day for his special catnip treat, then loved spending his afternoon watching the birds come to roost on his apartment's balcony. Bear loved this red flannel blanket so, after he passed, I had to do a picture of him resting on it as a gift for my mother.
"The Young Prince" - Celtic Cat Art
A small cat with a big attitude
"The Young Prince" - Pet portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
My mother adopted Jack when he was just a small kitten. He was quite rambunctious from an early age - in fact, he was named after Jackie Chan because of the crazy acrobatics he would attempt leaping from one piece of furniture to another. As he started to get bigger, he decided he was absolutely the "man" of the house despite his small size. His ears grew much faster than the rest of his body, although eventually he grew into them and became quite the stately, handsome adult cat.
"Mischief Takes a Rest" - Cat Art in Graphite Pencil
City kitty now enjoying the lush life
"Mischief Takes a Rest" - Pet portrait by Nicole Pellegrini
Mischief was a Philadelphia street cat who used to live off bar scraps in our neighborhood until we brought her inside to live in my old gallery on South Street. Despite her name, she actually is not that much of a troublemaker, and she had clearly been someone's house cat before we saved her as she was not in the slightest bit feral. She loves sleeping in warm places - especially on top of the clothes dryer when it's running, which was actually where I found her when I took the reference photograph for this drawing.
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Please let me know if you enjoyed viewing these cat portraits and if you have a favorite from the collection.