Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Daily Sketch: Kelly on the Windowsill

ink and watercolor of cat on windowsill
Kelly on the Windowsill, ink and watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Kelly enjoys the sun on her back on the bathroom windowsill, and also likely the reflected heat from the deck roof, just below. It’s not all that warm, but just warm enough to have the windows open in mid-afternoon. The pussy willow is right outside the window and the dappled leaves were charming, and the blue sky beyond.

Another combination of media that I enjoy, ink and watercolor. In this case I did the ink sketch first, then scribbled into it with watercolor pencil. The watercolor pencil is a two-part technique, first the drawing, then the watering. In this case I knew I’d want to leave some of my sketching lines and in other cases I wanted to obliterate them.

In other cases, such as the sky and the wall beneath her, I wanted both and I was very pleased with what happened when I just brushed a water-filled brush over my lines. I could achieve a multitude of techniques this way, with just random washes in the sky where I used the brush on its side, but patterned washes in the shadow on the wall where I used the tip of the brush (that’s a white sable no. 4 round, students, you know who you are) in straight parallel lines running through the angled watercolor pencil lines in green and blue.

This is the first time I’ve used this new set of watercolor pencils, Prismacolor 12-color set water-soluble colored pencils. The Derwent set had an excellent reputation, but I found them to be kind of weak in color, especially the darks, once I got the washes on it. I had also used them for a huge illustration for a sign I just finished and had to go over and over areas in order to get them as dark as I wanted, which took away from the feeling of freehand sketching.

In the Prismacolor set, the colors dissolved and blended easily though I’m not sure why the dark green in the leaves did not; it did where I used it in Kelly’s shadows. I had wanted to brush the two greens together to look more random and leafy.

I should have done some color test swatches with the pencils before I began to be sure what shades they would end up. The sky and the shadow on the windowsill behind Kelly are two different shades of blue, but they certainly don’t look like it and kind of blend together.

But so far, I like this set much better than the other two.

Purchase this original or a print

This sketch, matted and framed, is available for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as three others in the same style, Kelly with Grapes and Apple, Mimi’s Sunbath, and Top of the World.  These are also available as a set; if you are interested in purchasing two or more, or purchasing a print, please ask.


Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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: Kelly on the Windowsill

  • Pingback: The Creative Cat - Daily Sketch: Kelly With Grapes and Apples

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  • I love the color combinations you chose, and the contrast of Kelly against the blues, greens,

    When you say ‘ink’, what do you use there? art markers? and on the white sable no. 4 round, (I know who I am, the student who knows nothing:), is it just water on the brush? I wish you made video’s:) I’ve been trying a few on line lessons…as impatient as I am…I’ve always been a “get out there and do it” type person, but I really need to get learn some technique –
    Fatty is sitting here, giving me look like he agrees.

    • Robin, yes, I’ve been using “drawing markers” lately (I have more about this in today’s post). I really don’t like the felt-tip type though, even the gel markers feel better for me. The one thing you need to be careful of if you want your drawings to last is that you use archival ink, otherwise you may find in a few years that it has faded, or bled into the paper or changed color.

      Don’t worry about not knowing–I inherited a lot of what I’m using so I didn’t get the chance to learn about it before I bought it, and didn’t have a class with it. Yes, it’s just plain water on the brush, and with the pencils if you sketch on first you then swipe a wet brush over your penciling.

      You learn technique by doing, a lot. I started this over 20 years ago–be patient! Allow mistakes.

  • Always fascinating reading about the decisions you make as you’re going through the process, Bernadette….Tell me, why are they called “Derwent” pencils? I ask because there was, as you know, a real-life artist named Francis Derwent Wood that I used as a character in SHADOWS. Was just wondering if, by any remote chance, there’s a connection. You never know.

    • Tammy, Derwent is the name of a very long-standing and respected maker of drawing pencils in the UK: The site doesn’t say where their name derives, but “derwent” apparently derives from meanings of “wooded” and that may be the connection. I had always thought there was a connection with an artist, but from centuries ago, not recent, and the company well predates WWI. Perhaps there’s a story there!


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