Daily Sketch Reprise: Kelly on the Windowsill, 2012

ink and watercolor pencil cat on widowsill
Kelly on the Windowsill, ink and watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

The watercolor pencils combined with the ink sketch was a style new to me when I first began my daily sketches but quickly became a favorite. Looking back on this sketch from the perspective of over two years of sketches, I am thrilled with how colorful it is, all the colors mixed into Kelly’s fur, the loose blue in the background, the ink outlines just enough to hold it all together. I did a set of four within a month featuring Kelly and Mimi, and it was my beautiful little girls in the spring sun that inspired it all.

. . . . . . .

Kelly enjoys the sun on her back on the bathroom windowsill, and also likely the reflected heat from the deck roof, just below. It’s not all that warm outside, but just warm enough to have the windows open in mid-afternoon. The pussy willow is right outside the window and the dappled leaves were charming, and the blue sky beyond.

Another combination of media that I enjoy, ink and watercolor. In this case I did the ink sketch first, then scribbled into it with watercolor pencil. The watercolor pencil is a two-part technique, first the drawing, then the watering. In this case I knew I’d want to leave some of my sketching lines and in other cases I wanted to obliterate them.

In other cases, such as the sky and the wall beneath her, I wanted both and I was very pleased with what happened when I just brushed a water-filled brush over my lines. I could achieve a multitude of techniques this way, with just random washes in the sky where I used the brush on its side, but patterned washes in the shadow on the wall where I used the tip of the brush (that’s a white sable no. 4 round, students, you know who you are) in straight parallel lines running through the angled watercolor pencil lines in green and blue.

This is the first time I’ve used this new set of watercolor pencils, Prismacolor 12-color set water-soluble colored pencils. The Derwent set had an excellent reputation, but I found them to be kind of weak in color, especially the darks, once I got the washes on them. I had also used them for a huge illustration for a sign I just finished and had to go over and over areas in order to get them as dark as I wanted, which took away from the feeling of freehand sketching.

In the Prismacolor set, the colors dissolved and blended easily though I’m not sure why the dark green in the leaves did not; it did where I used it in Kelly’s shadows. I had wanted to brush the two greens together to look more random and leafy.

I should have done some color test swatches with the pencils before I began to be sure what shades they would end up. The sky and the shadow on the windowsill behind Kelly are two different shades of blue, but they certainly don’t look like it and kind of blend together.

But so far, I like this set much better than the other two.

Purchase this original or a print

This sketch, matted and framed, is available for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as three others in the same style, Kelly with Grapes and Apple, Mimi’s Sunbath, and Top of the World.  These are also available as a set; if you are interested in purchasing two or more, or purchasing a print, please ask.

. . . . . . .

What else was I sketching on this date?

To Cats, 2013
pencil sketch of two cats
“Boys’ Nap”, pencil, 8″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine were hanging together again, though in a slightly different place in the kitchen. It looks as if Sunshine has fallen asleep again, but Giuseppe is quite alert looking out the window—so alert, in fact, that I lost track of his profile in all the times he moved. I wish I hadn’t started with this posture since he found a very interesting bath posture a little later. But no matter what, here they are.

I will have to leave some other drawing materials in the kitchen for moments like this—I’d have liked to have done this in conté or perhaps even tried oil pastel; part of the problem with drawing Giuseppe is that I was envisioning him in another medium and it threw me off. I used to keep my sketch bag in my office where it was very convenient to the kitchen, but I spend more time in my studio so my drawing materials are all upstairs (one of the reasons you see more sketches originating upstairs than downstairs, if you can tell from my description).

I was really on a roll with these at this time last year—see yesterday’s post too.


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