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Submitted on
August 3, 2013
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Reposting this one because it seemed to help a lot of peeps... and I got literally yelled at for taking it down last time. I also added some more stuff to it as well... the bottom is pretty much exclusively domestic felines although the anatomy could work for smaller wild felines.

Also, before you begin I should say that the 3 'styles' of paws on the upper panel are just how I do paws as far as styling goes. I usually warp anatomy a bit for the sake of fun but it's usually a good idea to know it before you try and bend/warp it. Which is why I included more realistic style paws for the most part, so you can get a view/feel for how they're normally drawn.

[Original information from: January 2013]

** My old one from 2010… ; although people claim it useful, it wasn't really all too decent with feline paw anatomy because I wasn't quite that good at it yet back then.
[[PS: Please, DO NOT just flat out copy this... I've gotten far too many notes and comments telling/showing me tutorials other people have done that have traced/directly copied images from my previous tutorials in them. I don't mind this being used as reference but don't rip from it and make your own tutorial =/ It's kind of rude to take someone else's work/kindness and exploit it for your own gain -_-
Be respectful, please? Thank you~!]]

Having practiced a bit more over the last couple years I figured I'd gotten a bit better and that it was time to redo that particular tutorial properly with a few more examples.
I know this one isn't really a step-by-step process in some cases but I tried to do the methods I use which seem to be pretty easy without too much hub-bub and dawdling about.
Anyway... this has a mix of wild and domestic feline paws in it but the anatomy and build is basically the same (give or take size and perhaps some more definition to the paws of big cats).
If you ever get stuck on how to draw something remember to seek out reference to help you! Whether it's the real thing or a photo, use the resources the internet can provide for you (but use free stock images to avoid problems).
This is just how I do paws... it may not work for everyone but if it helps even just 1 person the time put into this will be worth it :)
**Side note: Where it says 'the first knuckle of every toe' -- it's meant to say 'the first phalanx bone (or rather the tip) of each toe' is removed when a cat is declawed.
This is because the claw is part of the first phalanx bone-- unlike our fingernails which are connected through skin a cat's claws are connected to the bone and held in or out by tendons.
Haha, the mistype is blamed on my being tired when I did the text for this tutorial e__e;;;

I should add that you are welcome to exaggerate or alter paws for styling but this is just to give you a basis for how I do/did it as well as a base board to start from as well.

I'll be uploading the canine portion of this once I get it done ^^
I had this going in SAI for a while but I dumped it and went to work on other things soooo the file sat unfinished for months :XD:
FINALLY I manage it to be done X3

Canine Paws (part 2) -- coming soon...

Also! Here's some inserts from a few books I own that have really helped me understand the anatomy under the skin --
Big cat paws --……
Claw anatomy and attachment --…

NOTE: Although I don't mind if this image is passed around to help others I do ask that the watermarks remain on the image and credits are granted. Please do not trace or reload this tutorial/image as a whole anywhere online-- use a link to this original file if anything.
Thank you and I hope this helps out a bit! :)
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Dj-Luka Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This was a great help! Do you think you could do one for dogs?
Horsecup Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so useful!
Thank you for making this! :D
ProteasomeComplex Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
kittykittykittykittykittykitty god cat feet are cute.  My cats aren't really prone to sitting still to let me draw them, so this is a great reference, thanks!
saexafw Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014
Wow ty for help
Icefang908 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the helpful tutorial :)
AmxBri Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This has helped me so so much!! The paws used to be the hardest part of the cat for me to get, and after I came across this a month or so ago, it has become so easy...anyways, I have linked several of my friends to this tutorial since then. And thank you so much!!
AlphaNightstorm Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
nice thnx XD
AmeliaDDraws Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Professional Artist
This is really an awesome study of cat anatomy.  :)
AlphaNightstorm Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you
TheHQRebellion Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you SO much, this is gonna help a ton, considering paws for me are one of the more OBNOXIOUS parts to draw. :s
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