Mimi and Mewsette settled in the sun from the window on the landing, both of them enjoying the wash of the warm light on their faces as the shadows crept up over their backs.
Often, big soft Mewsette settles somewhere and soon I see little Mimi tucked up against her, two girls enjoying some girl time. So they are, here.
And I changed the title from the original which was “Their Faces in the Sun” to “Their Faces to the Sun” because of the context of the saying, either “Keep your face always toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you” or “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and you will not see the shadows”. This saying is variously attributed to both Walt Whitman and Helen Keller, both authors and people whose works I have read and admire them both, but this quote nor any variation has not been found in any of eithers’ works. Nonetheless I love the sentiment, especially when applied to rescued cats.
Here is what I had to say about the artwork when I painted this little sketch.
I wanted to exploit the variations in their coat colors and just play with shadows and highlights here. Mimi is quite the cocoa kitty, while Mewsette is a much cooler black, tending toward blue. In this brilliant yellow sunlight, the deepest shadows were a complementary purple, secondary shadows behind them were not necessarily green but that little experiment worked anyway, and the minor shadows where the yellow tones down and begins to shade to orange were just areas where I felt orange was needed.
Ink lines went in last, unlike the usual technique of drawing the cats then painting in. I sketched them, literally, with a broad brush and let the colors flow together. There is one area I am unhappy with, and I need to manage the flow on the paper a little better, on Mewsette down near the floor, that floating edge has no context and should be softer. I didn’t realize how dry the paper was already. I’ll need to be more careful. If I hadn’t said anything probably most people would not have noticed it, but for the sake of the artists who follow me—be more aware than me!
I still love this little painting, and I remember the days when I aspired to sketch like this in ink, and apply and blend watercolors so freely. A few years ago I would have either produced a rather insecure much more detailed sketch with more realistic colors, or total mud. Practice makes perfect, even if perfection is loosening up rather than tightening details. I’m so happy with my daily sketch practice; even when I don’t post a new one, as today, I am still working on other artwork, so in a way I’m still practicing!
For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit Portraits of Animals in the “Daily Sketches” section.
Read about the reason for the daily sketches in Three Years of Daily Sketches.
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Their Faces to the Sun, Ink and Watercolor. The original art was 5″ x 7″ ink and watercolor pencil on 40lb. watercolor paper, prints are made in archival inks on Epson Velvet Art Paper, Cold Press Digital Giclee Paper or Artist Canvas. Read more and order.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals 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:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!