Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Featured Artwork: “Mansion of Meows” Book Cover

book cover for cat mystery
“Mansion of Meows” book cover.

Yes, another book in the series this soon! “Klepto Cats” book number 9 is titled Mansion of Meows, by author Patricia Fry.

Here Rags and his human family visit a mansion in San Francisco where they’ll premiere the documentary they filmed about him and his crime-solving techniques; this film was made in the book Celebrity Cat Caper. Rags escapes though they think he was catnapped and two main characters get lost at night in the fog while searching for him. But he’s not outdoors, he’s in the mansion kept safe by a young man who loves cats and who is a prisoner there—but no one knows the young man is there. Everyone but his mother and one trusted caretaker thinks the boy died seven years earlier in a fire, but he is being kept in a secret turret room in the mansion. Others see a glow of light sometimes from a window of a room that is supposed to be unoccupied.

So! A mansion with a turret! A foggy night, and silhouettes of cats in glowing windows! Fun already. Patricia and I exchanged a few ideas of mansions in foreboding light but all were in the distance silhouetted against a night sky and she likes to have Rags shown prominently on the cover. I worked up a few with a house in the distance and rags in front from the back, but those didn’t work. We decided to get closer to the mansion, possibly only show a portion of it, and add Rags somewhere in the front, looking frightened.

Then I remember a photo I’d quite recently taken of the house at the top of my street, with a turret, with dramatic clouds behind it and sunflares, all of which could easily be transformed to moonlight and a bit of mist.

A recent photo of the house up the street from me.
A recent photo of the house up the street from me.

I changed it to black and white to remove any reference to color, darkened and modified it, then sketched it up with the house in purple with yellow light in the windows, the sky gray and bluish so it wouldn’t be totally dark, added the yellow windows and just a few kitties up there.

Then I used Rags’s image from the cover of Cat-Eye Witness, looking up at the accused in the lineup with huge frightened eyes. We like to refer back to prior books by using Rags’s image from other covers.

detail of cat-eye witness illustration with cat and woman in jail
The final cover illustration and design for “Cat-Eye Witness” by Patricia Fry.

I added Rags and included far more of the house and background. Here is the full sketch.

The final sketch.
The final sketch.

Then I did the layout with the title and author and finally we decided we wanted more of a closeup.

You’ll also notice that in the final cover the art is reversed. Patricia mentioned that as the story had developed, the turret on the right hand side was critical. Yay for Photoshop and simply flopping the scanned artwork!

For this sketch I used my Ampersand sanded panel and soft pastels to be sure it had that smudgy feel of things seen in darkness, adding the details with pastel pencils because the art wall had so many tall narrow details, easier in pencil. I finished this in December and I’m working on a new one right now. Whew! That woman can write!

I’ve illustrated eight other covers for Patricia: Catnapped , Cat-Eye Witness, Sleight of Paw, Undercover Cat, The Colony Cat Caper, Celebrity Cat Caper, The Corral Cat Caper and Gallery Cat Caper.

All books are available in electronic format and most for print on

About the illustration materials

A two-sided bookmark for the four books in the series so far.

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 stand up well to multiple changes.

The original illustration is actually 8″ x 10″ so it fits in my scanner. 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.

You can find these books and more by Patricia Fry on Reviews have been good, and a few reviewers have even mentioned the covers! I hope you enjoy these books, and Patricia and I are already beginning the cover for the fifth book in this series. That woman can write!

We also designed a two-sided bookmark that includes all four books so far which Patricia can hand out at book signings and book shows.

. . . . . . .

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.

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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 using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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.

© 2015 | | 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!





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.

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