Being able to show value is probably the most important skill that can improve your artwork. This lesson is a beginner step to understanding how value works.

Create a 3-dimensional picture (showing height, width, and depth) of a cat using lines for value (lightness and darkness of a color to create contour) applied to a painted background.


(This post contains affiliate links – by purchasing through my affiliate links, I receive a small  commission, but I will only recommend things that I like!)

Step 1:  Print out the cat picture.

A copy is provided at the bottom of the lesson.

Step 2: Paint the grass.

Take the white card stock and green paint to paint the grass.  Start the grass from the bottom of the page, using the barrel of the brush and bringing it up to the tip.  Vary the length and value (light and darkness) of the grass blades by adding more water. Leaves near the bottom of the page should be darker because of shadows.  Check out my watercolor leaves and grass post for more help with painting the grass.  

Step 3:  Add flowers.

Remember that flowers will be darker near the center because of shadows.  Leave some white showing for highlights.  For more help with flowers, see my easy watercolor flowers post.  OR use markers to draw flowers and then add water with a wet brush.  Put the background aside to dry. 

Step 4: Draw the contour lines.

Start the contour lines with the marker on the cat sheet.  Make the lines going up the nose closer together than the other lines around the face.  Turn the paper, if needed.

Step 5:  Cut out the cat carefully.  

Scissor tip:  Hold the scissors steady, cut slowly, and TURN the PAPER, not the scissors.

Step 6:  Glue the cat on the background.

Center the cat at the bottom of the page and glue it. Make sure that the bottom edge of the cat is at the bottom of the background page.

Sign up for more great ideas and designs!  Feel free to send me pictures of your cats!

Posted by:Karen Riley

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