Free Contour Cat Art Project

Contour Cat Watercolor Project





The complementary colors of orange and blue are everywhere this fall season. And why not showcase these happy colors with a blue belly cat? A bit of doodling the other day prompted a quick contour drawing of this cute cat.

Using the simple drawing handout, children can free-draw their own contour cat watercolor to use as the subject of three watercolor techniques:

– Wet-on-wet watercolor (cat)

– Wet-on-dry watercolor (background)

– Wax resist (white outline and watercolor barrier)

This lesson can be done in two steps. First, draw the contour cat with a sharpie on watercolor paper. Then paint the cat and background. Second, after the paint dries, add the pattern and lines.


  • waterproof black marker
  • watercolor paper (90 lb)
  • pan watercolor paints
  • white crayon or oil pastel
  • medium round brush
  • water


  • wet-on-wet
  • wet-on-dry
  • wax resist
  • contour line drawing
  • patterns, shape and line


  • Use the drawing handout as a guide to draw a contour line of a simple cat. Focus on drawing two ears, a head, a long neck, hunched shoulders, simple paws and a long, curvy tail. Donโ€™t worry if it doesnโ€™t look perfect. The fun part is drawing wonky lines!
  • Draw two oval shapes for the EYES.
  • With a white crayon, trace carefully along the outside of the black marker line.
  • With a brush, touch the blue paint and dip into water so the clear water has a tint of blue.
  • Brush water inside the contour line.
  • With BLUE paint, start painting a LINE of color along the bottom of the cat. Hold paper upside down so that the blue drips and mingles towards the body.
  • Continue painting the cat blue, allowing the paint to migrate down the paper using gravity. This is really fun for kids as they can see how the colored paint will travel to the wet areas.
  • Paint outside of the contour line (NEGATIVE SPACE) blueโ€™s COMPLEMENTARY COLOR (orange!)
  • After paint dries, use the black marker to add a NOSE and a MOUTH.
  • Fill the cat with patterns, lines and shapes.



  • waterproof black marker
  • 2 pieces of colored sulphite paper ( 9″ x 12″)
  • Optional: metallic sharpie
  • Optional: rhinestone or button for collar detail
  • scissors
  • glue


– Draw cat on colored paper using the instructions in the PDF or from the instructions above.

– Add patterns inside the cat. Cut cat out and glue onto black or any other colored paper.

– Use a gold or metallic sharpie or permanent marker to outline the cat. The gold metallic pen really pops against the black paper. You can use a gold/metallic oil pastel if you don’t have a marker.

– Detail collar with pom-poms, rhinestones, or buttons.

Click the image below to receive the Contour Cat Watercolor Freebie via email! For more watercolor projects click HERE.

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  • annesdreamworld@cableone.net

    Confession: I’m completely addicted to your lessons!

    We homeschool and this year for art, I wanted to do something different. Usually, I use your site for most of our lessons, but this year, I bought a book for lessons. Here we are, just finished our first quarter and guess what? This last week, I *had* to pull out one of your lessons we’d not gotten to yet!

    1) Your lessons are laid out in an easy-to-follow fashion. I’m not an artist, but I love / adore art and want my kids to experience making art. You make it easy to teach! Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2) You have oodles of free lessons and we greatly value that. As a low-income family with health issues, we need free as much as we can. But, when you do charge for a lesson, your prices are very reasonable and I don’t mind paying for them. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    3) Our art comes out so much better when using your lessons! We have more fun and are more creative! Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    So. Now we are on fall break for a week. Guess what I’m going to do during it? Change our art curriculum to your lessons! Boy, that will teach me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for all of your hard work for this site. We’ve been followers for years and I am constantly giving out your website to homeschool groups we are in.


  • Gulshad

    Hey Patty,
    Greetings from India. Thank you for the wonderful art lessons, they are very very handy.
    I teach a group of kids age 4 to 7yrs at home, they really enjoy these art projects.
    Discovered your site a couple of months ago and am almost addicted to it. A special thanks for mentioning pinterest its the most amazing app I’ve ever downloaded. Thank you!

    • patty.palmer@deepspacesparkle.com

      So glad you found me! I love how we are all connected through art. Enjoy the lessons.

  • Sally

    I tried this project with my grade 1 learners. It was truly amazing. Thank you. I couldnt cope without DSS.

  • Yolanda

    very inspiring, simple but effective lessons! Are you also creating for middleschool?

  • Kathy Plamondon

    I love your projects and the accompanying instructrions. Wish I knew about you when I was in the classroom, but use these in my tiny home-studio class of 8 kids 6-11 years old. They are always a hit and I know I am teaching them new art skills.

  • gwennethradvansky

    Were do we press that link again I do not get it?

    • Patty

      Its a big red box that has a blue button near the end of the post. Enter your email address and we will send you the PDF ๐Ÿ™‚

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