What wonderful feedback I’ve had on my daily sketches—I am so glad I determined to renew this practice for myself and also share it here. Creating a small sketch every day may seem no big task but it can be difficult to arrange and easy to avoid in the midst of other things to do.
Above is Dinnertime! from December 7, Kelly, Mimi and Cookie enjoying dinner; morning is the usual time for sketches as warm-ups, but I had no time that day. I’ve known I wanted to get this sketch, though, because mealtime is such a special time in the lives of anyone who lives with animals. I knew I’d have a limited time since they get their bowls before the young kitties do and the three girls don’t waste any time once they get to it. I had my sketchbook and pencil on the sink and as soon as I set down the bowls for the kids I got right to the sketch.
Creating and sharing
Actually sharing the sketches with others in public is something else altogether because they are little warm-ups and often experiments with different media and therefore aren’t always my best work. It’s intimidating to share something I’m not sure about and may not like, but it’s also a challenge and I like that.
Like Three Cats in a Line from December 15, for instance. It took me a few tries to warm up so I had the control to follow my eye with my hand and create one single line without stopping or lifting my pen that approximated Mewsette, Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine. I’m actually not happy with this sketch but it was the first one where I decided I was warmed up enough and followed the line all the way through. The daily sketch also about being honest with my viewers that this is just a quick sketch done from life, not a practiced work from a still image, and I shouldn’t be cautious about experimenting a little bit now and then because the sketch may not work well. I should draw what I’m visualizing. That’s what the sketches are all about. Experiment, see how it works, and try something new as well as plain old practice in media I’ve used all my life.
And I’m so glad I have readers like you to share it with; it’s one of the problems with working at home with cats, the simply roll their eyes and go back to sleep when I ask them what they think of what I’ve done.
But I treasure all the comments readers have given me, including one that compared me to Clare Turlay Newberry—I will sincerely try to live up to that one!
Adding to Etsy and Donating to Shelters
I have no intention of keeping all these sketches, in fact it’s my goal to distribute as many as possible as my way of encouraging the appreciation of original art done by hand, not just to own but to study. I had always sold a certain number of matted and framed sketches when I’d done them in the past (though I kept the ones most dear to me), but I’d also made them available as donation items for shelters and rescues to sell or auction to benefit animals.
Each of the sketches I’ve done is available, but I’ve been using the feedback I get on sketches to determine which ones to add to the Daily Sketches section in my shop on Etsy. You can not only purchase these, but as I donate them to my local shelters and rescues for their benefit events, you can also request one for your own shelter event by sending me a message on Etsy, as well as promotional information for the event; I will ship the chosen sketch directly to the shelter for the event, or if the event is a virtual event, I will ship directly to the winner.
Above is Brotherly Bath from December 14. Giuseppe and Jelly Bean wrestle every single day at least once in the morning. I’ve been trying to catch their wrestling matches, but I’ll have to pick up some serious speed in sketching before I can capture enough to block it in and finish. But their wrestling matches always go through a session of “aggressive bathing” where they are still smacking each other and tend to tackle each other but pin the other down and lick them instead of biting. Then all wrestling sessions end up in a bath, usually Giuseppe bathing Jelly Bean, to the Bean’s obvious enjoyment.
A Last-minute Gift and Shipping Before Christmas
My shipping is based on FedEx rates because I’ve found that’s the best way to ship any artwork larger than 8″ x 10″ using their special box, and they really are the fastest. At any time of the year, I don’t want my artwork riding around in too many trucks or sitting in a warehouse somewhere.
Quite the landscape, Giuseppe From the Back from December 13, when he crouches with his hips and elbows in the air. It’s a posture I’m sure everyone who lives with a cat finds familiar.
I initially intended to sketch him facing completely away from me, but he turned his head and I liked his profile, that long sloping forehead and regal nose.
Other sketches available
All the sketches in this post are currently available on Etsy, though you can request any I’ve done by browsing them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“.
This was the first in my postings of daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe curled together on the bed. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.
This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.
This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.
Read more about Daily Sketches
Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.
See other Daily Sketches
I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.
The Artist’s Life Series
Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.
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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.