To realistically paint cat fur, you have to think and paint in layers. Without highlights or dark shadows. It is important to understand the way hair, fur and feathers grow to believably paint them! Then, start at the feet and work your way up the leg and around the hip and elbow. It helps to splay the brush or use an old paint-brush to paint fur.

By blocking or painting in the colors and shadows first, you will give your finished cat painting the appearance of realistic cat fur.
Step 5 – How To Paint A Cat; Working Through A Mental Block. Two essential things for painting realistic fur on a cat portrait are to paint the hairs in the direction in which they grow (so from base to tip) and for the fur to be lying in the right direction on every part of the cat's face and body. In step 5 I started to focus attention on Jorge, the small cat in the background. This is where a fur map for painting a cat comes in handy.
One tip with painting fur is to start darker than what you see so you can build up to the highlights. The lightest color is last. Slowly building up layers of paint and shadows will add depth and the illusion of softness to the cat fur you are painting. Remember to work from dark to light and thin to fat.

You will get more dimension and drama. For the face, start with the nose and the strokes radiate out from there. If you compare the first and the last picture of the cat above, you see that I’ve started with a tonal underlayer. This is a great way to paint fur in paints which remain wet for some time, like oils. Painting red and white fur A white fur is …

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