Make a Christmas Cat Painting in Retro Style

My house is filled with all the mod cats I’ve painted over the years, but somehow I didn’t have any Christmas cat paintings. A huge oversight!

So this holiday season I made kitty art with hats and snowflakes straight out of the North Pole. Here are the easy steps.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for details.

DIY Christmas Cat Painting

My sisters joined me to create these festive feline paintings. Check out the video to see the different designs we came up with.


Paint the Background

Start by painting the background on your canvas. Choose a color that will contrast at least a little with your white snowflakes.

I like to paint all around the edges so you can’t see any exposed canvas on the sides.

Paint the “Bowling Pin” Bodies

Once your canvas is dry, you can sketch your cats and then paint over the pencil marks, or get straight to painting.

Sketching mid-century modern cats onto a Christmas painting

I paint each body in a bowling pin shape, with a thin neck expanding to an oval body. Overlap the cats so they will have a shared belly.

Pick a different color for each cat, and a third color for their belly in the middle. You might also want to make one cat taller than the other to add variety and make it easier to fit both cats on the canvas.

Christmas cat painting details with retro cats, Santa hat, elf hat and snowflakes

Pink Paint: I made this retro pink color by mixing Apple Barrel Bright Magenta, Red and White. Whichever color combo you choose, be sure to mix plenty to complete your painting!

Add “Football” Cat Heads

At the top of the bowling pin bodies, give each of the cats a pointy football-shaped head. I like to tilt them a bit.

Give Them Curvy “S” Tails

Next, add their curvy tails. There are lots of ways to style them, but I usually do an “S” shape that is thicker on the bottom, curving back and forth as it gets skinnier toward the top.

Add Cat Eyes

For the eyes, make two white, pointy football shapes. You can add some personality by tilting them up or down. Then, perpendicular to that, add black football-shaped pupils.

Paint the Triangular Ears

The ears are simple triangles, but I debated the order of operations here. You could paint the ears behind the hats like I did, or paint the hats first and have the ears popping through them.

If you go with my method, space the ears far apart to leave plenty of room for the hats.

Christmas cat painting closeup of the Santa and elf hats on the kitties

Get Festive With Santa and Elf Hats

Now the Santa and elf hats make these cat paintings extra festive and fun.

For the Santa hat, paint the pink or red part first. I made a kind of rounded triangle that tipped over at the top. Then add the fur like little clouds at the base and tip of the hat.

The elf hat is even easier. Make a colorful triangle hat and give it a white pom.

Mint Paint: I made this mint color by mixing Apple Barrel Parrot Blue, New Shamrock and White.

Bedazzle With Asterisks and Dots (Snowflakes!)

I usually think of these asterisks as retro stars, but for this Christmas cat painting they are snowflakes. Use white paint to make a few asterisks, then add a bunch of dots to fill the canvas with snow.

For the dots, I push down and twist my brush to get a rounded shape.

Kitty in a mint green elf hat in a Christmas painting, with asterisk snowflakes

Sign your name, and you’re all done!

Custom Christmas Cat Paintings

I loved seeing how everyone styled their cat paintings differently.

My sisters and me holding our three different retro Christmas cat paintings that we made

My sister Lindsay curved her holiday hats to form a heart shape. And my sister Lauren chose warm colors, including an orange kitty like our childhood cats, Oliver and Trixie.

Not to be outdone, Jane made sure to let everyone know that she’s still the top cat in the house.

Gray cat standing in front of a Christmas cat painting

How to make a retro Christmas cat painting
DIY Christmas cat painting

2 thoughts on “Make a Christmas Cat Painting in Retro Style”

  1. Love the “festive retro kitties”!! You all did a great job on designing and painting them. I love how you all had different ideas for creating them..both with the different colors and their little hats. The video was awesome and very informative….So fun!!


Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy