Last week we adopted a cat! His name is Salmon and he's an orange tabby. He's about five years old but still very playful. It's been really fun getting to know him better each day and figuring out what things he likes and doesn't like. Of course I had to draw a few pictures of him:

Compilation of Salmon sketches

I drew him looking out the window and doing two of his favorite things, sleeping upside down and playing with his toys under the couch.

I used this time to keep practicing stylization in my illustrations, and I tried using some more textured brushes as well. Below you can see my process in going from initial sketch to final color for one of the poses:

Three iterations of Salmon

The leftmost drawing was my initial sketch. I drew this while looking at Salmon so it's more accurate to reality than the final product. When stylizing animals, people, or objects, it's a good idea to start with a reference of the actual subject so you understand what they look like and how different parts come together. Even though I knew I wanted the final drawing to be more cartoonish, I needed to start with an observational drawing to better understand the pose.

In my second iteration - the middle drawing - I no longer looked at the real Salmon and just at my previous sketch of him. This helped prevent me from being tempted to stick too close to reality.

Then in the right drawing, I added in color and shading. I continued to stylize him with the lines on his fur. I repeated this process for each new pose.

While I love my new cat, I promise not to make every blog post about Salmon! Or, at least, not most of them.