Daily Sketch Reprise: The Cat Mountains

pastel sketch of three cats sleeping
“Cat Mountains”, pastel on pastello paper, 12″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Three cats asleep, just like mountains in the dark.

This was purely a visual inspiration, looking at Mimi and Bean and Mewsette all curled into one another, all the ears and backs and peaks and valleys looked like a mountain range to me, so I decided to do a more finished drawing with that idea.

In order to make it convincing to anyone else but me, I had to put the moment into context. Where were these mountains? I thought. And what time of day was it? I decided because they were dark and the highlights were one of the very most inspiring things about them that it had to be night. I added stars to the night sky after I’d let it sit for a while; I didn’t want to, it seemed cliché, but in the end it drew attention away from the cat figures long enough that they did, at first, look like mountains in the darkness.

Where are they? Because they were actually sleeping on my nice flat and level work table, I decided they might be mountains near the desert.

What I was trying to capture was the sense that they rose up organically from the surface, much as mountains in the desert seem to do, and convey both the strength of mountains and the quiet peace of a mountain scene at night under a starry sky. It’s not just an interesting visualization, it’s also descriptive of what I intuitively sense from cats themselves, and especially this particular group of five when they get together in cat piles, that quiet tranquility, yet the strength of their structure evident even as they rest.

I’ve never seen mountains in the desert under a dark and starry sky. That part is pretty much made up from some creative visualization.

They are worked in pastel on black pastello paper, though unlike other sketches I didn’t leave the black open, instead I drew in the darkest areas with black pastel and didn’t leave anything uncovered. I’d mentioned earlier that I typically ignore their color, using their silhouettes as a starting point for new designs, but this time their solid blackness is an important part of this idea, imparting the idea of solid strength. Their mahogany mid-highlights and their blue top highlights were part of the inspiration as well, seeming to describe the slopes and peaks of a mountain in starlight. I’m not sure I would have seen this visualization that led to this if they’d been striped or spotted.

And while typically my daily sketches are quick and undetailed studies and a pretty literal interpretation of what I see, this is an example of some of the ideas I have on a regular basis, and which I’ll pursue in between other things.

Where to find this artwork

You can purchase the original or a print of this sketch on Portraits of Animals, or go on and read more about how I created it.


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Desktop calendar, 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monitors.
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pastel sketch of three cats sleeping
“Cat Mountains”, pastel on pastello paper, 12″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski (adjusted version)

Find it on Portraits of Animals or purchase a print or card below.



All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals 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.

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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!

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Bernadette

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

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