Daily Sketch: Sleeping and Bathing

charcoal sketch of two black cats
Sleeping and Bathing, charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

Mewsette and Jelly Bean demonstrate two of the most important activities in a cat’s life.

Right now, Mewsette is watching me compose this post. I wonder what she’s thinking.

I’m thinking that I can’t see fully half of my monitor.

But one of the things I’ve always liked about painting animals is that they never tell me what I’ve painted doesn’t look like them. I don’t take this to mean they like it, though.

I tried a few new/old charcoal techniques here, mainly using a kneaded eraser to remove most of the charcoal in an area—removing all of it is never possible—then sketching on top of that area to add an extra level of dimension. Mewsette’s back, side and forehead were done this way. In addition, I used the kneaded eraser create highlighted fur by shaping the eraser in a thin shape and sketching with it.


Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


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10 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: Sleeping and Bathing

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    • January 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Tammy, it’s funny you would say that–I actually did this sketch the day before but the vine charcoal was too big no matter what I did and I ended up filling in around her eyes. I put it aside and decided I’d go back to it with the technique I described using the kneaded eraser because I wanted to work with her eyes. So it worked!

  • January 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Charcoal is definitely brilliant for black cats! Such good texture, but I actually know nothing! lol. My father was an artist. Came to it late in life and did mostly watercolour, though dabbled with other media. I love seeing your sketches 🙂

    • January 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Carolyn, as long as it works for you, you don’t need to worry about how it was done–that’s my job! I am still reviewing techniques I learned and used through the years that I haven’t used in a long time, kind of like reviewing the vocabulary for a language I used to speak so I can speak it again, which means I can visualize in that technique. It’s very comforting to know they are still there and I can build on them!

  • January 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Bernadette, these drawings get better every day! Charcoal is such a great medium to work with isn’t it? Ideal for quick, unfussy sketches and ideal for drawing those beloved black cats!

    • January 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Susan, thanks! I actually prefer pencil for quick sketches–I’ve been using pencil since I was little and I always say that I can think in pencil, I don’t even need to look. But I’m finding that for the absolutel blackness of these cats charcoal is necessary! I’m enjoying exploring it.


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