Daily Sketch: Beans

pastel sketch of black cat
“Beans”, pastel on pastello paper, 10″ x 6″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I actually did this sketch yesterday late afternoon, but at the end of the day of my outdoor extravaganza I simply ran out of time and energy too, so I left it for today.

It’s interesting to see what I would come up with after a day of art. Typically the daily sketch of one of my cats is the first piece of art-on-paper I do in a day, and often the only thing, but yesterday I looked at the weather and knew it was one of my Sunday art days, no matter what I “should” have been doing. I’d started out with my contrived trip to the grocery store knowing I’d pass several areas I’d want to sketch and photograph, so when I came back I’d been warmed up with landscapes and streetscapes, then saw Bean on the top shelf of the cat tree in the quiet corner of the kitchen where the shadows are very green from the trees outdoors and the light is blue reflected from the sky.

The original inspiration was Bean’s toes, oddly enough the clearest thing in the scene, matched with the subtleties of the light on his fur. I watched him settling for only a moment before getting the art bag I’d just put down and quickly roughing him in with the softer black pastel on the dark green paper and pulling the highlights with a few strokes of only three highlight colors. Then I blend with my fingers, one of the things I love best about drawing any animals in pastel but especially my cats, that as I use my fingers to blend the pastel into the paper and the colors into each other, the subject emerges, as if I’m petting them and they come to life.

And warmed up after a day of going about the business of art, photographing and painting and visualizing, this came about much more quickly and surely than it otherwise would have.

. . . . . . .

Though I actually did this sketch yesterday late afternoon, at the end of the day I also ran out of time to scan things last night, and energy to write about them too, so I left it for today. But there are no coincidences. I know the reason for the title and perhaps my even noticing Bean’s toes was the thought of another kitty and a conversation about the nickname “Bean” for her, and the name “Bean” turning up for several other cats at an auspicious time. We lost that little Bean today, another little black Bean, way too early. She was so beautiful, and made me think of Mimi. For my friends who are missing their Sabrina Bean tonight, this sketch is in her memory, whether I intended it or not.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

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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 using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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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2 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: Beans

  • June 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Bernadette this is so beautiful! I think I will have to have you do a pastel of my beloved Abbey before long!

    • June 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you, Paulette! You still have a certificate, and I can’t wait for you to choose your portrait!


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