I thought I’d choose something colorful, and especially with red in the composition, for February. It’s hard to believe I painted this over a decade ago, and just a month into my daily sketching. I know this style was one I’d visualized, but never worked in the way I envisioned when I worked freehand. This sketch has been very popular as a card and print, and as much as I see things I don’t like, its simple authenticity in capturing the moment, my actual stumbling around with ink and watercolor, is what makes it work.
On that day I’d photographed them and remembered standing there with the sketch building in my mind, pretty much as you see above. But could I do it? No, I had no confidence it would turn out any differently than prior attempts, which had all been oversketched and then muddy when I added the watercolors. All I could see were my failures.
But it was too strong of an idea. I decided to at least try a sketch, after all, that was why I’d decided to do my daily sketches, to experiment, practice and perfect styles I’d wanted to use. I got a watercolor pad anticipating the watercolor added later, a drawing pen, and started to sketch. A little bit of practice goes a long way—though I’d only been daily sketching for about a month after not completing much art at all for a year or two, I had regained enough control to be able to work this out quickly with just a bit of adjustment. As you see there is an extra outline of their ears and heads as I’d begun them a little larger, then as I worked my way down their sides I tightened up my lines and their bodies were a little smaller so I resketched their heads to match. What to do with the lines? Leave them there. They are part of the sketch.
This was the first time I simply did a sketch and decided painted into it, and it worked, but it wasn’t all about the color. As I said when I posted this the very first time:
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 (January 6, 2012) 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 then! But I’m so glad I took that time to work through this idea.
A New Member Thank You
This New Member print is a signed digital print of my ink and watercolor “Purple Cats, Red Blanket”. Prints are made in archival inks on Epson Silky Photo Paper. This print is 8″ x 11″ and matted to fit an 11″ x 14″ frame.
This print is only available as a new member gift during this month while it’s the featured artwork and desktop calendar, so make sure you sign up before the end of the month!
Other options for this artwork
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 which was really exciting, and I do also have various prints on paper and canvas. and was made into a Valentine and all-purpose greeting card by request, and I also sell it as a digital print and who knows what else I might come up with?
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.
This month’s desktop calendar, “Purple Cats Red Blanket”
I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month.
If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.
How to download and use your desktop calendar
- Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
- For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
- For mobile devices, download the image to your gallery then choose it as your wallpaper—this is slightly different on all devices.
Horizontal and HD monitors and screens
. . .
Square monitors and screens
. . .
Small Mobile Devices and Tablets
. . .
Cell Phones and Smartphones
Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.
Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.
click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat
or visit Feline Artwork on my main website.
If you are interested in a print of this image, check 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.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
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.
Subscribe to my e-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.
Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!