Painting Charlie the Cat in Watercolor

Watercolor painting never gets old or boring if you constantly find new challenges. Like many things in our everyday lives we need to stretch ourselves to keep our interests growing. I find new subjects to paint, things that I’m not too comfortable with, like cats. Using my photoshop program I will enlarge the image to fit my watercolor paper and then transfer it with a water-soluble pencil. This pencil allows all the marks I make on the paper to disappear as I paint.

Here is my cat sketch


Cat Charlie2


Before I start my painting I work out my color palette on a piece of scrap paper. I need to determine the eye color and the body colors. By doing this I do not have to make color choices while I’m painting.

My color choices are

EYES: Under Sea Green – Daniel Smith Leaf Green – Holbien

BODY: Hematite Burnt Orange,  Hematite Violet & Raw Sienna – Daniel Smith


Cat Charlie


I ALWAYS start my painting by painting the eyes. I need to feel that I have captured the soulful expression of the animal I am painting. Once this is done I’m ready to continue the painting.

Cat Charlie3

I continue painting the animal and I think of the words a great artist/teacher once told me. “Use your finger and stroke the animal’s fur, (on the photo image). Feel the direction the fur grows and use those same strokes to paint the animal with your brush” Thank you Jean Haines



Little by little I build up the layers of my painting. Here is a close up of  Charlie’s beautiful green eyes. My goal is to make them look liquid and they should have depth.


Cat Charlie5

A subtle back ground color that does not compete with the subject is added.


Cat Charlie 6_2018

My painting of Charlie is a donation to the RSVP animal rescue group. I donate art whenever they have a fundraiser. This year I was asked to create a painting of a major benefactor’s deceased pet. It was with great pleasure that I painted Charlie for this lovely lady. I hope my art brings a smile to her face and conjures up warm memories of her beloved family member.


Paint with Me


~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on June 29, 2018.

8 Responses to “Painting Charlie the Cat in Watercolor”

  1. Beautiful!!! I’m sure it will. Thanks for sharing your process!

  2. Enjoyed seeing your process. Terrific outcome!

  3. Thank you Carol, I’m glad you enjoyed this.

  4. Hi Jodi, thanks! The painting was a big surprise and loved by everyone.

  5. Lorraine, what a great blog post. I love how you described your painting process (including paint colors/brands), and that wonderful quote from your teacher. Thank you for letting us get a look at how your beautiful painting evolves.

  6. Thank you SuZan. It’s great to receive feedback from other artists, it helps me know that the information I’m sharing is useful and understandable to others.

  7. Lorraine, you are becoming a master of animal portraiture! What a lovely painting of what must have been a very beloved pet.

  8. Thank you Jenn

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