The watercolor pencils combined with the ink sketch was a style new to me last year but quickly became a favorite. Looking back on this sketch from the perspective of a year, I am thrilled with how colorful it is, all the colors mixed into Kelly’s fur, the loose blue in the background, the ink outlines just enough to hold it all together. I did a set of four within a month featuring Kelly and Mimi, and it was my beautiful little girls in the spring sun that inspired it all.
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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 outside, 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 them. 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.
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 One Year of Daily Sketches.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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.