So plushy Mewsette was napping on the bed with the diffuse light from the window, which faces northwest. All her soft edges were even softer, and I loved the angle at which I’d first seen her, from the top of the head down, so that her face was foreshortened and all her paws were together.
I grabbed the multi-media sketchbook with white paper and my compressed charcoal pencil first, knowing she could move at any moment and those are always in easy reach. I captured those lines and curves on her face, forehead, nose and even her oddly flattened ear, then the plushy paws and tail, but all the while thinking I wished I’d grabbed the Canson sketchbook with the blue paper, I was really envisioning this on blue with white highlights and black sketchy lines.
The black and white sketch was done. Should I do another? Mewsette had moved a little but she was happily napping. Unless a naughty brother jumped up and decided to pull her hair she was napping.
So I ran to get the blue paper and got the conté crayons rather than the charcoal pencils so I could include wider lines. Two sketches in one day! I decided I’d choose the one I liked better to lead in, and that was my first idea, in blue. But I also like the strong lines and scribbles in the black one, below, and the cool thing is I can make the background of that one any color I want.
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What other sketches did I share around this date?
Garden Sprite, 2013
It’s raining today, and neither Mimi nor I is happy. We both wanted to be out in the garden after a very long week with only a few minutes here and there out in the greenery.
And after observing her outdoors as the garden is changing, I’d wanted to do a particular watercolor sketch, much like one I’d done earlier this summer, now with different flowers and colors and composition. After a while of cleaning the house and waiting for the rain to let up a bit we sat down for a bit, and I played around with some of the photos I’d taken last week that gave me the idea for the sketch. Sometimes this is a good warmup if I have a sketch in mind, opening up the palette I will use and, depending on the medium I want to use, I can plan out the work itself to a certain extent. I always do this with larger and more complex works, but especially when I’m painting en plein air, the more prepared I am with light that’s constantly changing, a kitty who keeps moving around and even a slight breeze that moves the greenery and flowers, the more quickly I can get a start and the more successful I am in capturing what I see.
But it was not to be. The rain only fell harder and the temperatures dropped, and all the geraniums and phlox and asters drooped, leaning way over to even touch their heads to the ground with the weight of their saturated petals. Even if the rains did let up, the entire atmosphere in the yard was sodden and misty now, not the clear and sunny autumn afternoon we’d been looking forward to. So, Mimi and I went back to the computer and played around a bit more, and chose one of the images I’d put together using the “cutout” filter. I’d wanted her as a solid outline, plus mottled greens as a pattern, and at least the pink of phlox blotted in here and there. In this one, Mimi turned up in the darkest green, which I think is pretty cool since it looks as if she emerges from the landscape itself. The bricks faded away, though.
There will still be opportunities later this year, and we’ll be sure to catch them!
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Five for a Nap, 2012
I wish I’d had the chance to grab my watercolors; this did not turn out as I was envisioning in markers, partly for all the sketchiness and difficulty blending. But you still get the idea–a blob of shapes and shadow that become cats on the bed with delicate outlines, done in brush markers and gel pen.
Can you guess which outline is who?
You might guess Mimi, but it’s not fair when it’s a sketch! It’s Jelly Bean, Mimi, then behind is Giuseppe, in front is Mr. Sunshine and behind again is Mewsette.
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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!