Daily Sketch: Gentle Highlights

pastel sketch of two cats sleeping
“Gentle Highlights”, pastel on black paper, 9″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

My fine felines happily spent supervisory time with me in my studio yesterday, mostly napping but I’m sure they could have awakened at any time to give me whatever direction I might need. I took plenty of photos of sweet, sweet naps of one and two, which you’ll soon see, as well as an important meeting among the four, but there was just something delicately inspiring about Mewsette and Bean, backlit by my work lights, with gentle highlights on their faces and whiskers. Mostly soft and grayish and just a touch of their mahogany but lots of delicate whiskers, I could picture a soft sketch on black paper using just the pastel I had layered on my fingers from the portrait I was working on yesterday and gentle touches of white charcoal or pastel pencil. I could also feel my fingers applying the pastel to the paper and see the marks I’d leave that described their noses cheeks, ears using the shapes of my fingertips…heck, if I wash that distracted by this sketch and visualizing that fully, I might as well do it! So I did.

I’ve done a few of these before—why waste the pastel, and the inspiration?

In truth, this was almost another scratchboard, except for catching that softness, and all that pastel on my fingers…

(This was actually intended to be the daily sketch for September 3, but my internet connection was interrupted for several hours as well as overnight, so I’ve posted September 4.)

We are participating in Lesley Saeta’s “Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge” for September 2014.

. . . . . . .

What else was I sketching on this date?


Doodles, 2013
ink sketch of cat behind curtain
“Doodles”, ink, 6″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Okay, it’s way more about the pattern on the curtains than it is about the cat, but really, I wouldn’t have noticed it if not for Mr. Sunshine looking out the window at night.0

I think Jelly Bean is jealous, though, because once I began scanning the sketch and writing my post he’s been all kinds of infatuated with me, purrring, head butting, leaning on me, walking on my keyboard…it could also be that we are next to the room where Emeraude has food. Jelly Bean has simple intentions. That “o” at the end of the paragraph above is his comment.

. . . . . . .

What Are You Looking At?, 2012
minimal sketch of black cat
“What Are You Looking At?” ink brush pen, 5.5″ x 8″ © B.E. Kazmarski

I did my best to capture Giuseppe’s somewhat harassed expression because I’m sure he feels like I’m stalking him. Lately he’s been the subject of photos and sketches and I think he’s beginning to wonder what I’m up to. Guess I should give the guy a break, but it’s really just coincidence.


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.

And download your free desktop wallpaper calendar for computer or mobile, usually based on a daily sketch.

"Milling", 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors
“Milling”, 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

A collection of 34 images of feline artwork

Feline Style Sampler

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

Click here or on the image to read more

or find this book in my Etsy shop.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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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.

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

Weekly schedule of features:
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.

2 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: Gentle Highlights

  • September 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    OMC…this is fantastic Bernadette….is this done on black “construction” type paper…the paper adds as much “detail” is the pastel does to
    mews & bean …awesome ♥♥♥

    • September 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Tabbies, this was done on a “charcoal” paper, a little toothy but with a specific texture, almost like a horizontal weave with deep grooves. This month’s calendar was done on black construction and it has a sort of “flocked” texture but it’s much smoother. I was picturing something completely smooth but this worked okay. Thanks! They are modest about their famousness.


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