Tutorial-How to Paint a Baby Meercat

Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and QoR watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Elite Travel Round size 6 10. Photo courtesy of manfredrichter on Pixabay.

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Tomorrow, my hubby takes a meerkat pup in his lunchbag. A momma meerkat usually has 3-4 pups at a time, though they can have as many as 8. A group of meerkats is called a mob, gang or clan.

This painting is what is known as a ‘line and wash’ because it is drawn in pen first and then painted with watercolor.

Before You Start

This guy is cute, and that’s what I most wanted to capture.


(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)

Really simple shapes in this drawing so I didn’t worry about a grid.

Not sure if you’re up to drawing this? Art Tutor has a great grid program that will help by applying a grid to your uploaded photo. You can also crop and adjust color and value.


I debated about doing this one with no pen drawing, and then I decided I would do a minimal drawing, but once I got started, I ended with a very detailed pen drawing. It was a sort of spur of the moment decision.

If I had intended to keep this as a pen and ink, I would have continued to darken my values, but I made sure to leave something for the paint to do.

I created the outline of the pup, the texture of the fur (making sure the pen lines followed the direction of the hair), the texture of the rock, small details in the foreground, and the shadow.


Purple Mix – Ultramarine Blue Violet, Quinacridone Violet in equal amounts and just a touch of Iridescent Gold (Fine)
Brown Mix – Cadmium Red Light, Manganese Blue and Quinacridone Gold

I started with Quinacridone Gold and the size 10 round brush, applying medium dark stripes of color along the back, the head, the neck and top of the front leg. Then I cleaned my brush, and blotted it until it was quite damp. I pulled color from the areas I had just painted, going in the direction of the fur until all of the meerkat was a very light yellow.

Once that dried, I added a few swipes of purple mix to the foreground and background. I did the same clean brush and pull color everything not meerkat was purple.

Switching to the size 4 brush, moving it in a cross hatch motion, I added more of the Quinacridone Gold to the meerkat, with the darkest in the eye. While it was all still wet, I started adding brown mix around the neck, top of the head, and the back.

While that is drying I add some of the brown mix to the background. I let everything dry.

To finish off, I add a more of the brown around the eye, the ear, the nose, under the body and around the entrance of the tunnel. With what is left of the brown in the brush, I darken the shadow just a little bit more.


And Where You Can Buy Them

Hahnemuhle Burgund Watercolor Postcard Rough 120lb

QoR Watercolor 11ml tube:

Princeton Aqua Elite Travel Brush Set, Series 4850 Synthetic Kolinsky


Published by Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

14 thoughts on “Tutorial-How to Paint a Baby Meercat

  1. Definitely cute an like both the pencil sketch an watercoloured of BABY MEERCAT.
    Should give her/him a name in case you get inspired to draw a few more..💖

  2. Love this painting/drawing. So cute. Do you do portraits? I think they would be easier than animals and your animals are great.

  3. He is so cute! I really appreciate your simple steps. I feel I could actually sit down and try it without losing interest or getting frustrated. So many lessons are too much for my little brain to comprehend. So thank you Sandra!

  4. Absolutely beautiful and adorable meercat and so creatively rendered. I never draw with pen and then watercolor over, and am very impressed with the pen/pencil detail you employ and how it becomes so seamlessly integrated in your final painting. One of these days, I’ll get brave with a pen or pencil sketch first. You definitely left something for the paint to do. I just bought my first tube of Quinacridone gold – we’ll see where it takes me.

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