Daily Sketch Reprise: Purple Cats, Red Blanket, 2012
It’s hard to believe I painted this two years ago, and fairly early on in my daily sketching. I know this style, which you’ve seen develop over the past two years, was one I’d visualized but never worked in the way I envisioned when I worked freehand. This was the first time I simply did a sketch and painted into it, and it worked. This sketch has been very popular, and I think that’s one of the reasons why, its simple authenticity in capturing the moment.
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Black cats, like white cats, have all sorts of colors in their fur, and in filtered sunlight their fur glistened with all sorts of highlights and shadows. The randomly shaped and wrinkled red blanket heightened the range of colors in their fur and even the neutral wood floor held random combinations in its old unfinished grain. Mostly, the composition was what attracted me in the first place: two similar heavy rounded shapes, the random soft shape and the smooth shape brought elements together in a very pleasing way.
I think cats are very aware of how they can create beautiful compositions simply by being in them.
Sometimes I’m not sure which way to go with an idea. Part of my quandary was that I had two ideas, this one of ink lines with watercolor and another of black sumi-style cats on a solid red blanket, just absolutely simple shapes. I think I’ll also do that one, but I’ll do it from the photographs I took. (N.B. I never did that, but came close to it with other sketches of them on the red blanket).
You may recognize this as being similar to a few of the images in today’s photo, “Mimi Photobomb“, and that’s exactly what I was doing before I was photographing—sketching in ink the view from behind which I found absolutely dear. Normally I would have moved into my studio and gotten the watercolors immediately, but then I saw the photo op and spent some time on that, and then the phone rang, and it was getting late in the day and I was still in my bathrobe and all I’d done was sketch and photograph my cats. Fun and fulfilling, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
Interesting and funny what I wrote last year! And I’m so glad I took that time to complete this idea. This sketch led me in a new direction I’d always wanted to go, ink sketch with watercolor washes, and if you enjoy my daily sketches you’ll know that it’s one I use frequently in many sizes. This was also the first daily sketch I sold as an original and was made into a Valentine and all-purpose greeting card by request, and I also sell it as a digital print and will also have it on a few special Valentine items you’ll see in the coming weeks.
If at all possible, always follow your ideas to their logical end—or to quote Robert Frost, take the road less traveled, by yourself or others!
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2 thoughts on “Daily Sketch Reprise: Purple Cats, Red Blanket, 2012”
Love the purple cats, red blanket! Very nice composition and complimentary colors! Just lovely!
Great models, Sassmuffins! I owe it all to them. Just ask them.