Found this old process laying around. I know a lot of people like these/find them useful so I'm posting it. No idea why I didn't before.
Here is a brief walkthrough of the photos:
Picture 1: A sketch of the painting. Included are some of the finer details, such as the whiskers and the general fur direction/length. This saves a lot of time later!
2: Establishing background colours and lighting. I've found it helpful to start with at least a base colour for the background.
3: Basic shape and dimension of the subject. Since this is a cat, and one with medium length fur at that, I didn't put a lot of effort into the blending and dimension here because it will be covered with the fur layers I'll add in the next photos. If this were a human or an animal with less dense fur, this step would be a little more detailed. Like I said though, I'll be covering this up with fur so it's not a big deal!
4: Base fur. For this I used a textured brush to help define the fur. I mostly defined the dark hairs for now, changing brush size and the length of my strokes depending on the area- the face will have shorter, denser hairs then the chest.
5: With a smaller brush I add in finer hairs. More mid tones for now. No dense shadows or overwhelming highlights yet. I add the eye, nose and lips. I like to do this early on. I just feel like the painting goes better if I do, maybe that's just me!
6: I finish with the finer hairs. Now I add the highlights around the cat's face and edges of her body. You can see my palette in the right hand corner as well. I also start work on those pesky ear hairs!
7: The finished painting. I know this is a bit of a jump, but sometimes I forget to take WIPs as I go XD
Finished Painting: fav.me/d67yehd