A year later I’ve tried to emulate the same loose style and, you know, I haven’t. Must have been the moment!
Some days it’s difficult to settle on a sketch subject, and today, another quiet rainy day, they were napping most of the time and I just feel I’ve sketched enough naps. I called playtime and tossed balls and waved feathers, just watching their activities.
Watching them play was fun, but it’s what they do after play, when they settle themselves down, that’s when I get the most candid sketches as each one individually goes about transitioning from play to…not play? They look out windows, they walk around the house, they want love, they reinvestigate the room, they have a bath. In all cases, after play, they are fully aware, is if play has primed them, which it probably has as that’s the role of play for cats, tails active, ears swiveling, their steps higher, movements quicker.
I’ve been visualizing a certain style as well, and here it fit together—their energetic movements and a loose style that captures their energy and the lines of their movements. Here Mr. Sunshine, on the left in his characteristic orange (because the yellow marker isn’t dark enough) prowls across the work table sniffing all the toys, now lying still, and it’s a little confusing but we are looking at the underside of his chin as he reaches out to pick up a toy in his mouth after giving it a shove with the paw that’s lifted. Giuseppe (Verdi), in the sadly drying green marker that is his characteristic color, begins a bath, tucking his tail and pulling his leg forward to start washing his hip, and I have intentionally only colored his face, back, hip and paw because those are the active areas.
As a challenge to myself, I took no reference photos, sketched in the color first though each moved considerably before I was even quite done with that, then quickly carried the outlines around in black looking at the shapes I’d created on the paper. Just in case you really needed to know how this came about. Kind of approaching that Warhol cats style again, and I hope to remember a new set of brush markers some day so I can branch out to other colors.
And with that, I have finished off another basic sketchbook.
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Looks like June 7, 8 and 9 were good days for marker sketches, especially that black outline style! Here are a few more as I’m catching up on a few days I’ve missed. The good news is I’ve moved the kitchen computer to the studio so I can scan my sketches again and work up here. Mimi is happy—she loves the studio and comes in here to wait for me, even when I’m not coming in here.
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What other sketches did I share on this date?
Color Reversal, 2012
Some days I am working on art projects and it’s actually difficult to change my focus and do a sketch, like today. On these days I’m glad I have the sketches from last year to post, and it’s always interesting to see what I was doing.
These sunny days have me seeing colors all over the place! Here Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine settled on top of the wardrobe in front of the sunny window, and I saw them as I walked out of my studio mostly in silhouette but outlined in highlights from the window, Jelly Bean with the warmest highlights right by the window, Mewsette with cool highlights behind him and Mr. Sunshine with the highest highlights, green reflecting off the trees outside the window.
I decided to draw their highlighted edges in colors and fill them with black; unfortunately the black brush marker is fading into history, more a speckled gray than black, so I ended with a Sharpie to finish off the fill.
When I scanned it and saw it on my computer screen I immediately wanted to see the sketch on a black background. There were no markers to be found that could fill that much area, but there is always Photoshop.
So here it is. I am picturing fabrics, maybe a kitty placemat for underneath the water bowl or food bowls…
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Sunshine Yellow, 2012
Today Mr. Sunshine is truly Mr. Sunshine since he is, for once, yellow!
He sits like this now and then, one paw raised. None of his siblings do, but now and then his mom does. It’s endearing to me, that regal pose, the slightly possessive demeanor of having the paw lifted. Namir did this frequently for most of his life as well.
Mr. Sunshine’s lends his classic shape well to regal sitting postures as in “Kitty in Pink”, and he is pretty in pink even though he is a boy.
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