Daily Sketch: Colorful Kitties

"Colorful Kitties", cut tissue paper on white multimedia paper, 6.5" x 8" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Colorful Kitties”, cut tissue paper on white multimedia paper, 6.5″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’m not so sure this was worth all the time it took, but it surely was fun to do, and a challenge. I’ve been visualizing something like this for a while, the semi-transparent paper allowing the overlaps to create new shapes and colors, but knowing it would take time, in short supply lately, I kept holding myself off from starting. Unfortunately for me that often means I can’t visualize other sketches because a current idea is very strong, and so it was here despite keeping my sketch materials near. I decided to give in this evening—or should I say “last evening” because it is now “this morning”, after midnight.

The cat figures are cut from colored tissue paper used for wrapping, which was the best material I had on hand for the semi-transparent substance. I cut the figures freehand as if I was drawing the outlines with a pencil or pen, doing my best to visualize each one as I worked. I began with an idea of several colors, but initially all the cats were to be standing in the same position and the same size but randomly placed. I realized that would be difficult to cut in freehand and remembered some of the brush pen sketches I’d done of the Four in action, each in a different color and overlapping like “Everyone’s On My Desk” and “Four Cats Bathing” and knew that was simply more interesting.

So I cut out each one starting with the big blue kitty and let each successive kitty appear to me in color and posture and position in relation to the others. I arranged them on a page in my sketch book, while Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine supervised.

black cats on drafting table with artwork
Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine have a discussion about my work.

While it was apparent I didn’t have the level of transparency I wanted, I still liked what I saw. And though the tissue paper was difficult to cut without ripping, even with a fresh new Xacto blade, I let them be a little rough. Mr. Sunshine inspects my work when it’s near done.

black cat on drafting table with artwork
Mr. Sunshine considers my progress but has an obvious message.

while I was considering that it was not yet done, and what to do next, Mr. Sunshine had a message for me. And while he knows humans can be slow in understanding the meaning of feline body language, he made his point fairly obvious by wearing his thoughts outside himself, literally.

black cat on drafting table with artwork
This needs yellow!

Ah, yes, I need a yellow kitty, like Mr. Sunshine himself.

black cat on drafting table with artwork
“I declare this piece of artwork finished.”

Mr. Sunshine approves. What would I do without my feline supervision and guidance?

After I finished arranging the colorful kitties and the work met with Mr. Sunshine’s approval, I decided against gluing the shapes down. The tissue paper would become a disaster, and a glue stick might as well. So I took a few photos before looking for some sheet protectors, carefully slipping the whole thing inside and scanning it. That is where it is now, and I’ll look for other possible materials for this, colored plastic film perhaps.

. . . . . . .

Find this art on note cards

"Colorful Kitties" A-2 note cards.
“Colorful Kitties” A-2 note cards.

I shared this artwork an immediately people asked if it was available on note cards, and so I designed and printed a few dozen. This design just lends itself to a variety of themes—friendship, thank you, thinking of you, even an invitation to an event. The card is an A-2, 5.5″ x 4.25″, and printed on 100# acid-free uncoated cover stock, blank inside.

black cat with envelopes
Bella sorting envelopes.

They come with 70 lb. opaque acid-free envelopes that are inkjet/laser compatible in your choice of envelope color. Bella helped me choose them and set them up

I have these notecards available in singles, two, half dozen or dozen in my Portraits of Animals Shop on Etsy.

Inspire Me Monday

We’re sharing this on “Inspire Me Monday” on “Create With Joy”.

. . . . . . .

What else was I sketching on or around this date?

Mimi at the Morning Window, 2013
sketch of cat on black paper
“Mimi at the Morning Window”, pastel pencil on black pastello paper, 7″ x 9.5″ © B.E. Kazmarski

This was intended to be something somewhat different, but here it is as what you see.

In the bright morning light, shadows are deep and long, highlights are brilliant. I had begun on black paper so that I could have the solid nature of the deep shadows and Mimi’s silhouette, so I sketched in yellow pastel pencil since all was outlined in a rather golden glow. I had intended to fill in what would be the light-colored areas of the window in pale blue and the top of the wardrobe in pale yellow, leaving the rest solid black.

I could only do the sketch at first, and decided to wait until later to finish. Mimi had left anyway…but when I looked at the sketch I liked it as it was. But still I intended to fill it in. Then I liked it as it was. In truth, I simply didn’t want to, admiring the light outline on the dark paper. I decided in the end to leave it as it was—if I liked this one so much, I could keep it, but there was no reason I couldn’t do another, and then I could fill that one in.

So here’s looking forward to another sketch on a beautiful sunny morning, and here’s a finished one that is not what I thought it would be, nor does it need to be. Actually, most of them aren’t and that’s the fun of art, letting the image become what it should be in the moment.

. . . . . . .

Kelly in a Ball and Two Girls at Dinner, 2012
colored pencil sketch of tortoiseshell cat
“Kelly in a Ball”, Colored Pencil, 10″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

After Cookie left us on February 3, 2012, I took a break from blogging for a week. When I came back I posted these two sketches, “Two Girls at Dinner” first, noting that of “the other Big Four” there were only two left, and next “Kelly in a Ball”, above, celebrating how relaxed she seemed for the first time after losing her big sister, Cookie. It was also a moment for me to accept and share my loss in the way I do, in writing, photos and paintings. I still remember those moments of feeling as if I was starting over and it still surprises me that I’ve come so far when I felt so sad. It’s a testament to healing, especially now as we remember Emeraude. To my friends out there who have recently lost a precious animal companion, be kind to yourselves and let time work its healing.

. . . . . . .

Kelly has been sleeping a little more comfortably on my desk, right on top of everything. And there’s a lot there to sleep on.

But she has a totally endearing habit of rolling herself up into an ever-tighter ball of tortie spots with her legs all tangled and her tail twisted in there and her head turned sideways or upside down. Cutest of all, which you sadly can’t hear in her sketch, is how she talks to herself and to me, making little happy Kelly sounds, chirps and soft mmmrrrrrrrs, now and then a real meow, and lots of purrrrs.

And I nearly always take a reference photo even of my sketch subjects. In this case, I knew she wasn’t going to hold the pose for too long so I could work from the photo, and in some other cases I might want to use the reference photo for something more finished at another time. It never hurts to have more photos of cats around.

Colored pencil again; it’s become a convenient way to use color with shadings I can’t get in marker and I don’t have to worry about the mess of chalk or oil pastel, and no special paper for watercolor. I’ve never felt I handled colored pencil well, but after all these sketches of my cats I feel much more confident about them.

. . . . . . .

Two Girls At Dinner

colorec pencil sketch of two cats at dinner
Two Girls at Dinner, colored pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Mimi and Kelly enjoy dinner on the cabinet while “the kids” eat on the floor.

I’ve been wanting to try this idea for a while. It’s every hue of colored pencil in the box following nearly the same lines, but with enough variation that you see full color and mixed color throughout the sketch. It tends to cover up all the little tweaks and trills I add to my sketches as my hand skips from place to place, but I like the strength of the shapes and the colors themselves, it makes me think of confetti and makes me happy.

I am determined not to pull up sad moments as I begin posting again, but I sketch what happens in life. While browsing photos over the week I saw one from two years ago of “the other big four”, four girls at dinner: Peaches, Cookie, Kelly and Mimi.

Then when I began sketching I was glad to catch one of my favorites, “Dinnertime”, featuring three girls at dinner: Kelly, Mimi and Cookie.

So here are Mimi and Kelly with the entire cabinet to themselves. Over the years I’ve seen a parade of cats on this cabinet, always reserved for the ones I need to observe a little more closely, or those who were uncomfortable eating in close proximity to too many cats. Or those who are just special, like Mimi, who is not older or ill and certainly enjoys the company of her children, but who has always felt it was appropriate that she get to eat on the cabinet eating special kitty food, as the seniors often get, like a special kitty should.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in Three Years of Daily Sketches, Awards and Collections.

And download your free desktop wallpaper calendar for computer or mobile, usually based on a daily sketch.

"Warm Winter Sun" desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens. "Rolling Around" desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.
“Warm Winter Sun” desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens. “Rolling Around” desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

A collection of 34 images of feline artwork

Feline Style Sampler

Daily sketches, illustrations, commissioned portraits all in a small coil-bound gift book.

Click here or on the image to read more

or find this book in my Etsy shop and on Amazon.com.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Portraits of Animals on Etsy.


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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!






From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: Colorful Kitties

  • February 13, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Wow, this is stunning, B! The transparent effect is unique and colorful and would work beautifully for many of the pieces you already create – cards, flags, boxes, etc. Gorgeous!

    • February 15, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks, Chris! the tissue paper is so delicate it’s hard to cut without ripping so I hope I can find another substance to use to continue exploring.


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