View Full Version : How many ways can you make a catman? Exercise in creativity

02-07-2010, 04:09 AM
Recreating this here. It belongs in Art Projects, not General Chat.

So, here is an exercise. Take two things, and paint as many different ways to combine them as you can invent. Example: take a cat and a man, make different catmen.

I don't mean a man with cat's ears for one concept and a man with cat's tail for another. That all is just one way: combining appearances.

But you could also put a cat in human context, or create a sentient alien by thinking of how a lion could evolve, or make a costume, or ponder a cat's soul trapped in a man's body, or anything else. Invent things or match existing characters - the main thing is to think up as many distinct ways to combine two things as you can, and paint an example of each.

It's a great exercise: it challenges your inventiveness, knowledge, technical skill, creativity, memory - all in one.


1. Each combination method must be distinct. If you combined appearances once, no more characters that just combine appearances. If you used Puss-in-the-Boots (a cat in human context) then Fat Cat or Begemot are no-go.

2. Existing concepts/characters and original ideas are both OK, as long as you paint them yourself.

3. Use any two things you want. It does not have to be men and cats; use clouds and bicycles, or elephants and clowns, or music and space travel if you want.

4. Use any reference you need, but try to not copy - it's not the point.

5. Have fun. Experiment. Do things you don't normally do.

Here are some possibilities I came up with, with examples:

1) Combine appearances. A human with some feline features (Na'vi), or vice versa (Sphinx).
2) Change context. An actual cat acting like a human in human context (Puss in the Boots), or a cat with some human behavior (Fat Cat) or a human forced into cat form (the protagonist from "Jenny", I forget his name).
3) Use whimsy. Something preposterous, cartoon logic.
4) Create a costume. Human dressed as a cat, or cat dressed as human, or?..
5) Transformation. Shapeshifting, channeling, magic, ritual, theatre...
6) Twist conventions. Take something that is a traditional combination of man and cat (like the Sphinx) and twist it in an unexpected way.
7) Scientific extrapolation. Cats with thumbs! What would a humanoid descended from cats look like? Maybe not even a humanoid, but intelligent?
8) Pull all stops. Combine more in one way. Go wild. Invent something totally random and make it work.
9) Combine functions and behaviors, instead of appearances.
10) Invent your own!

Here is my take at it. ArtRage 3, paintbrush over watercolor. Took me about half an hour per illustration, all on the same page. No reference used. Had great fun. Try it too. :)

07-11-2010, 01:32 AM
My old response to the paint my cat thread fits here too.

08-04-2010, 01:03 PM
This was a brilliant read. Thank you very much for taking the time to create it and post it here, regardless of where it 'should' be posted.