Daily Sketch: Bella Birdwatching

charcoal sketch of black cat
“Bella Birdwatching” revised photo reproduction (more accurate), black and white charcoal on gray toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

So Bella is an avid birdwatcher. She spends long hours by the big north window watching the birds at the feeder. I spend long hours studying her profile while she does so. I decided to finally sketch her and thought of the toned paper with white and black charcoal, and I also added a bit of pale yellow green in her eye.

Of course, I didn’t sketch this while she watched birds. She never really keeps still, but I did get a good outline while watching and added all the details from photos open on my computer screen, holding my sketchbook as if I was sketching from life. I always want to be able to keep that extemporaneous feel to my sketches, and so even if I complete one later from photos I’ll try to mimic the conditions of sketching from life as much as possible. But I wanted to be certain to capture that short little face, delicate chin, the swept-back ears and whiskers, the highlights as the reflected north light washed her face and the window was reflected on her eye, and her paws, at rest, but ready at any moment to leap up and fly at the window screen.

Below is a detail of her face.

charcoal sketch of black cat
“Bella Birdwatching” detail.

I have to whine just a little…my scanner failed me somewhat this time and the paper color isn’t quite right. It’s much darker so that you can see the highlights better, and especially the color and highlights in her eye. I may try a few other methods of scanning or photographing this or turn her over to the pros because I want to be certain this one reproduces exactly!

And so I did photograph Bella! Below is the original scan of the artwork that I posted yesterday. The artwork above is far more accurate, and that’s rare for my camera!

charcoal sketch of cat watching
“Bella Birdwatching”, black and white charcoal on gray toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

And here is what Bella thought of the whole ordeal.

black cat
Can I just watch birds without the whole internet knowing?

Oh, my, I haven’t sketched Smokie…I know this and I have a few ideas to capture those hazel eyes and rounded whiskers and his developing mane, but for now, for some reason, I find Bella very inspiring.

. . . . . . .

Curtains, 2013

ink sketch of cat with curtains
“Curtains”, ink hybrid technical pen, 6.5″ x 4″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mr. Sunshine was busy watching what was happening in the dark outside and watching what Giuseppe was doing on my pile of boxes inside. One moment I’d see him like this, then next, only his back and tail. Pretty clever camouflage with that flowered cafe curtain, but it suited his purpose. He is the most frequent midnight shift block watch cat, so he has his methods.

I used three of my hybrid technica pens on for this sketch. Primarily drawm in a .03, very fine point, I probably ended up smaller than I’d originally planned, but the smaller the pen point, the thinner the line and the longer it takes to cover area. It was a little too fine for the heavy coverage I wanted for Sunshine, though, so I worked him in .04 and .06, and I think the heavier lines in the shadows on his body give him some extra shape.

I still enjoy those little patterns too.

. . . . . . .

The Dinner Stare, 2012

ink sketch of cat staring
“The Dinner Stare”, ink, 5″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mewsette has been less than thrilled with the flavor of food I’ve been feeding this week, so she’s eaten just enough to keep from starving. You can see, she is truly suffering. She is ready for dinner now, a few hours before she usually eats, in the hope that I have finally come to my senses and found something in the freezer she likes.

I am lucky that, aside from little protests like this, I have never had a truly finicky cat in all my years of feeding them. I think the others told them that hunger strikes were pointless. Or perhaps it was the few who worked cleanup who convinced any potentially finicky kitties that leaving food in their bowl in protest would only serve to give them more.

You can see I took the time for a sketch and an explanation before I fed dinner.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in Two Years of Daily Sketches.

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"Sitting in the Dark", 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors cats desktop calendar
“Sitting in the Dark”, 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

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Feline Style Sampler

Daily sketches, illustrations, commissioned portraits all in a small coil-bound gift book.

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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 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.

© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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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!




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

13 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: Bella Birdwatching

  • October 30, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    wow! beautiful! Both, Bella and your sketch-

  • October 30, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Gorgeous! Are you willing to part with it?!

    • October 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Tiger, yes indeed! I’d love for little Bella to be out there with you!

      • October 30, 2014 at 10:43 am

        I’d be honored to add her to my collection! Get ahold of my by email and we’ll work out the details. Stoked!

  • October 30, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Great work, Bernadette…this is a beauty!

    • October 30, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Thank you, Sued51! It was worth it to stay up a little late to finish!

    • October 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Thanks, Carolyn, I really waited to study her and find the best position.

  • October 30, 2014 at 5:50 am

    This is beautiful.


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