If you saw some of the photos from earlier this week in today’s post I’ll add that I took a number of Mewsette that looked just like this, and it was a similar sunny December morning that inspired this sketch!
Mewsette lets the warm sun wash her back while she sits and simply looks lovely.
I was in the mood for a more detailed pastel today, and decided to also use the Tiziano paper for its texture and working it out on a mid-range background instead of a white background in my sketchbook. I’ve also taken a break from pastels for a while and wanted to revisit the comfortable nature of an old friend.
I’ve been watching them in the morning sun in the kitchen, looking for shapes and colors and compositions. In these images you see as much reflected light as direct light, and while direct light is pretty reliable in tone and color, and direct sunlight generally has hard edges, reflected light takes on the color of whatever it’s reflecting from and can be very difficult to match, not because the colors are hard to determine but because you want to paint the color you think you see. In this case the direct sunlight is reflecting from both a rich pine cabinet from the left and the white floor from below Mewsette.
I was probably ready for this today because I’ve been studying her and the rest of them and seeing all these beautiful bright and subtle tones, planning my techniques and colors. I sketched her outline in black, a challenge for the angle but that was what I wanted, and made sure it was correct. She sat in the same spot but kept turning her head and moving her tail; I had to keep getting her turn her head to approximately the same angle. Then I blocked in color areas, then I blended, and reblended, and reblended again. Eventually she came out to this long after the sun had gone—it disappeared behind cloud cover quite quickly this morning—and added her whiskers from the reference photo I’d taken.
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What else was I sketching on or around this date?
I’ll be catching up with sketches too, so you’ll get a bunch in this post! Sometimes I think that’s fun.
The Impossible Angle, 2014
Mewsette wanted to play and sat quietly but intently looking at me to get me to wave that waxed paper backing from double sided tape, and gave me quite the assignment: use three hands to hold the sketchpad with one hand, draw with another, and wave the toy with a third. Not having three hands, I used my drawing hand to save the toy just often enough to get Mewsette to sort of keep looking up, and sketch in between. And it’s one of those angles where nothing works the way you think it should because it’s all upside down! I would say that both Mewsette and I had a great time of it.
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Smokie in the Basket, 2014
Smokie is cute no matter what he does, and especially when his furs and feathers are draped over the edges of a basket. Kind of the epilogue of today’s basket adventure with Mr. Sunshine.
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Morning Kitchen, 2013
I started out with Mewsette and just kept going. All that beautiful cool light with the warm-toned Mewsette bathing in the center, it just didn’t look finished until I added the surrounding scene. This is oil pastel, but I think I moved over to my soft pastel style for parts of this. Well, that’s okay, and probably because I have been working on a few other pastel works. It’s really the color that counts.
That and the cat hairs embedded into it.
Mewsette, Apples and Books, 2013
There’s something about Mewsette and apples, and about Mewsette and the way she settles herself in among objects, that is always visually inspiring. I could do many black-cat-with-still-lifes when Mewsette decides to settle somewhere in the room with me an meditates, like to day when I’d transferred a bunch of things onto my work table in the studio and Mewsette carefully chose a spot in among them, settled down and watched me.
Three Cats In A Line, 2011
Now for something a little different: one single line for three cats. I admit that it took me a few tries to warm up so I had the control to follow my eye with my hand and create one single line without stopping or lifting my pen that approximated Mewsette, Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine.
I’ve moved up from the gel pen, but even the quality felt-tip drawing pen isn’t quite what I want. That’s what the sketches are all about. Experiment, see how it works, and try something new as well as plain old practice.
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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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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!