Thursday, February 22, 2024
animal artworkblack catscat paintingcatsdaily sketchmewsettepastel

Daily Sketch: Art Cat

pastel painting of cat with brushes and paints
Art Cat, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Above is the original scan of the painting, color balanced as closely as I could get it. At the bottom of this post is the photographed edition. Neither is truly correct! But I’m moving on. See if you can find the differences.

I’m trying out a new type of drawing paper with my wonderfully soft Sennelier pastels. What better to test on than my cats?

This is Fabriano Pastello Tiziano, a heavy-duty lightly-textured paper meant for soft pastels. The background color is the color of the paper, and I thought I’d like a backlit scene so that I could pull the highlights up against the dark shapes and the mid-range background. I like the paper, mostly because the pastels work so well on it.

Here, beginning as Mr. Sunshine and ending up as Mewsette (they are very similar in shape and size), she twirls around to wash her hip, sitting next to little jars of fabric paint and my jar of watercolor brushes. I kept everything in the more vibrant red and blue range with highlights of yellow and just a touch of green.

Problem is, the colors in this are wrong! I actually use my scanner for my daily sketches, much more efficient than photographing and downloading since I download dozens of photos and need to deal with them all; this way I scan one image. But the scanner isn’t always accurate, as now. The highlights on the objects on the left are much more clear and bold and those objects are overall, believe it or not, much brighter.

Mewsette is way far off! Where you see the burgundy is actually a vibrant red-violet, and more of it. Around that is a navy blue which is actually a deep purple. Then that lovely turquoise, which I like, is actually a cornflower blue with just a hint of violet. I used all that purple to complement the orange and yellow highlights, but I guess my scanner knows better.

I would need daylight and the good camera to get this one right. I will do that tomorrow or the next day and update.

But I like the sketch and I have missed two days. Fridays are busy at my computer closing out weekly work with customers, and Saturday I was gone all day, but today I have time for experimentation.

And here is the revised photo of the sketch. I didn’t change the sketch at all, just photographed it in daylight instead of scanning it. Normally I photograph outdoors with reflected daylight because it’s the most balanced, but not for this sketch! I had to photograph it in full sun to get the colors correct, and they are still not quite there but I’m over it. There are things I like about each of them even though they are the same image.

pastel sketch of cat and art materials
Art Cat, pastel, rephotographed © B.E. Kazmarski


Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches.

And read about purchasing them and requesting them as a donation item for your shelter or rescue group in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation.

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.


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7 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: Art Cat

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  • I really like this one, Bernadette, and the paper is interesting, too!

    • Chris, thanks! I like working on dark papers because they often add to the depth of the pastel, but they obviously wreak havoc when you’re trying to reproduce the image. I’ll keep that in mind for future illustrations!

  • I’m sorry not to see it in the colors you intended, but it’s still a gorgeous drawing! I love it 🙂

    • I like it too, but I feel it’s a little dishonest when my scanner and camera get colors wrong. I actually had to photograph in full sun this morning to get it nearly right, and it’s still not there, but much closer. I’ll post later.

  • My first reaction was “I like it” it’s also my second reaction lol. To me it appears the cat is in shadow and somehow that enhances the atmosphere. Just my opinion 🙂

    • Thanks! Even though the colors are mostly wrong; just waiting for a few clouds to clear away so I have enough daylight to get an accurate photo. The backlighting was intentional–I love it because the highlights can be so dramatic.


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