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Featured Artwork: Klepto Cat Book 58, “Paws for CATastrophe”

Someone is stealing and selling cats who can do neat things like tricks and might have some training. The person sees Rags perform a dangerous act of valor and goes after Rags trying to catch him to sell in his scheme in Paws for CATastrophe.

That’s pretty scary! Patricia had an idea for rolls of money in a duffel bag that Rags has discovered and is pawing the money out and two people in the background at a bar. Bars are pretty dark and we try to keep the cover lighter so I lightened up the bar on the first draft, but the place didn’t look enough like a bar. I thought about a deal out in the parking lot where there could be more light, and what about a red car since we like red on the covers?

So that’s that we have. I have stock photos of rolled money and I have a canvas duffel bag that I made to look red. Rags was once again modeled by a photo of Namir walking that I enhanced to make it look like he was pawing the money out of the bag, and Rags was quite the husky cat so I had to beef up that model. I used a photo of two people in jeans standing from photos at an event I’d photographed; just their legs, not distinctive enough for me to need a release. And my neighbor’s red car.

I actually designed and painted this cover last July when I was headed toward Namir’s scheduled surgery date, and I had a very hard time formulating this idea. I know it was because the initial idea would be too dark for a cover for this series. Normally my mind will wander to another idea and try it out and keep wandering if it doesn’t work, but my mind wasn’t wandering in that time. As soon as I got the news, bing! ideas. It’s not my favorite cover for subject matter, but I think it’s well executed from the jeans to the duffel to the pavement, and Rags, of course, and the overall composition is just a nice balance even though it’s still dark.

Here’s the synopsis of Paws for CATastrophe:

Rags has his paws full.

There’s a new cat hoarder in town using a sinister twist with the cats he collects. After watching Rags perform a dangerous act of valor, the cat hoarder wants to add this amazing cat to his collection, and he goes to extremes to get his hands on Rags. Will the tables turn in Rags’ favor before any more felines or humans are harmed?

Meanwhile the Iveys’ housekeeper and dear friend finds herself in deep trouble, and Detective Sledge summons Rags in hopes that he can uncover the clues that will set her free.

Even amidst the chaos the Iveys, along with Michael’s brother and his family, are vacationing together with Rags, of course, keeping things lively. If you’re ready for a relaxing read with just enough excitement to keep you turning the pages, this may be the book for you.

You can find Paws for CATastrophe on Patricia’s website and on Amazon.com.

About the materials for the cover illustration

I use a self-prepared two-ply illustration board with a very fine surface texture to hold the pastel, and also be able to use other media. It’s not entirely opaque so I can put it on my light table and trace the details in place. I initially started out with a sketch in watercolor but I’ve been using my brush markers more often to block in the colors and especially the dark areas; the markers don’t cause as much ripple in the paper and have cleaner edges than watercolors. Then I put it on my easel and finish it with my pastels, a mix soft pastels and pastel pencils especially for details.

Getting all the details just right on an illustration like these book covers can be tricky when they are small. Depending on the detail in the illustration, I work them almost twice the final size of the cover—the cover is 5″ x 8″ and I work at 9″ x 12″.

Other illustration materials I’ve used

I don’t use paper for most of these illustrations but chose Ampersand brand Pastelbord, which is a piece of Masonite with a very fine clay and marble-dust coating that has very little texture but holds layers of pastel so I can both do my finger-painting thing with blending softer pastels and sketch with harder pastels and pastel pencils, and it stands up well to multiple changes. I began the painting with soft pastels to cover the major areas with layers of color. I finished up the details and edges with pastel pencils.

But once I began working out the covers with all this Victorian detail like PAWSitively Sinister, I needed a little assistance in keeping the details in order so it didn’t take me until next year to do the painting. Especially when working with patterns it’s important nothing is out of place or it’s immediately noticeable. I start with a complete composite that I’ve built in Photoshop using all the photos and images and art so that Patricia can see just what it will look like, and I have all the details in place. It’s far more difficult to correct an illustration than a Photoshop composite, which I can adjust infinitely. That way, when I get to my actual painting, all the decisions have been made and I just need to paint.

I use a self-prepared two-ply illustration board with a very fine surface texture to hold the pastel, and also be able to use other media. It’s not entirely opaque so I can put it on my light table and trace the details in place. I start out with a sketch in watercolor and even marker to block in the colors and especially the dark areas. Then I put it on my table and finish it with my pastels, first the soft pastels for coverage, then pastel pencils for details.

Depending on the detail in the illustration, I work them sometimes twice the final size of the cover. Getting all the details just right on an illustration like these book covers can be tricky when they are small. The books are 5″ x 8″, but this illustration was 10″ x 16″, which helped me to paint in all the leaves and details of the bark.

About these book covers

I’ve illustrated over 50 covers for Patricia over two series of cat mysteries. You can see the Klepto Cat covers below, but unfortunately you can’t click on the images to go to the article and read more about them. Use these links instead: Catnapped, Cat-Eye Witness, Sleight of Paw, Undercover Cat, The Colony Cat Caper, The Corral Cat Caper, Gallery Cat Caper, Mansion of Meows, Celebrity Cat Caper, Pawtners in Crime, Pawsitively Sinister, The Purrfect Lie, A Picture Purrfect Christmas, Meow for the Money, Claws for a Cause, Cabin FURvor, A MEOWvelous Witness, Cats in Cahoots, The Amazing CATventure, By Crook or By Cat, Merriment, Mayhem and Meows, A Christmas to Purr About, Cattywampus Travels, Cats in the Belfry, CATalyst for Clues., The Perilous PURRsuit, Secrets, Trickery and Meows, The ImPAWsible Mission, Meowmoirs of a Kleptocat, Revenge at its Felinest, FURever Bound, Cats Don’t Squeal, The Secret Claws, FURever Friends, Wrong Side of the Paw, A Whisker of Truth, Cats and Caboodle, A Very Meowy Christmas, A Purrfectly Perilous Plot, Meow and Forever , Cats of a Feather The Secret in the Whiskers, Whiskerful Thinking, Paws for Trouble, Love at First Purr, Meowing in the Moonlight, A Whisker of Doubt, In PURRsuit of the Unknown, A PAWsome Encounter, Calico Calamities, A Whisker Away, Rags Gets the Upper Paw, Claw and Order, Rags Lends a Helping Paw, and Meow Me a Riddle.


Klepto Cat Book Covers

CWA 2018 Muse Medallion AND Certificate of Excellence for “Illustration: Series”

Illustration: Series, Klepto Cat Covers 27 through 32
MUSE™ Medallion and Certificate of Excellence

Patricia publishes about six books each year and I’ve entered the covers since 2015. I’ve won a Certificate of Excellence each year, and often won a MUSE™ Medallion too.

2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021

Click the links above to see the other awards.


Bookmarks for Patricia L. Fry's books.
Bookmarks for Patricia L. Fry’s books.

All books are available in electronic format and most for print on Amazon.com as well as find the print versions on Patricia’s website. Reviews have been good, and a few reviewers have even mentioned the covers! I hope you enjoy these books, and Patricia and I are currently working on the next cover. That woman can write!

When we finished book 12 we also updated the two-sided bookmark that includes all twelve books so far which Patricia can hand out at book signings and book shows.

We’ve also printed several runs of note cards from multiple covers, including a Christmas series.

. . . . . . .

Read more about book covers I’ve designed. Also, click here to read more about the Purrs of Wisdom cover and bookmarks, and also about books I’ve designed on my blog, What’s New?

Are you interested in illustrations or a book cover, or book design? Please contact me, I’ll be happy to discuss your project.


Featured Artwork

Each week on Wednesday I feature a piece of artwork, sometimes a current or historic portrait, sometimes an illustration or an art project from years ago, usually cat-themed, but sometimes wildlife or even non-animal subjects, and even projects from my commercial art life. Read other Featured Artwork posts.


Custom Commissioned Artwork and Illustrations from Portraits of Animals

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy~~~

From Animal Portraits to Book Covers to Advertisements

In addition to creating commissioned portraits beloved animal companions for the past 25 years, I’ve also been a commercial artist since the 1980s both full-time and freelance and created many illustrations, book covers, advertisements, display signs and more. Visit my Commissioned Artwork pages to read more. They are not quite complete at the moment but there is still quite a bit to look at.




Copyright

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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© 2022 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

 
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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “Featured Artwork: Klepto Cat Book 58, “Paws for CATastrophe”

  • 15andmeowing

    Great cover. I look forward to reading this.

    Reply
  • Love all the precious kitties. Cats are just the best.

    Reply

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