Saturday, June 15, 2024
cats I knowdaily sketchfamilyfeatured artworkpencil

Featured Artwork: Toddler and Tabby Cat, Two Sketches

pencil sketch of little girl and cat
“She’s My Little Girl”, pencil, 9″ x 12″, 2005 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

How about that—a little human along with a kitty! I actually know these two, in fact, they are related: the little girl is my great-niece Cassidy and the kitty is her family kitty, Elsa, one of my great-cats. They’re having a really good nap.

I have two sketches in this post, “She’s My Little Girl”, above, and “How To Have a Really Good Nap”, below. I sketched these in June 2005 from photos my niece e-mailed to me right around that time; in fact, my scans of these sketches are dated June 24, so it’s nearly exactly eight years ago. Cassidy was four here, now she’s 12, hard to believe, but you’ll see a recent photo of her a kitty for today’s daily photo, which is what prompted pulling these sketches out of…the lost sketchbook.

. . . . . . .

She’s My Little Girl

My niece and her family moved from Pittsburgh to Savannah, GA just after Cassidy was born in 2001, so I treasure every photo, and of course I love to see the animals as much as the humans, and my niece knows that.  When I received these it was something in Elsa’s stripes and Cassidy’s curly hair (a family trait) that made me decide to sketch these, and my choice was pencil. I love the retro-flowered bedspread, and for heaven’s sake there were even a few baby dolls in a few and someday they’d make a really cute painting, but I just wanted my first impression, the little girl and her cat.

detail of sketch
Closeup of Cassidy.

I not only love how her face is so soft and rounded and her mouth is slightly open, such a toddler thing, but she’s “counting” in her sleep, some of her fingers are curled and others are not. I’ve always thought babies’ and toddlers’ hand positions were cute.

Now as for Elsa, it looks to me like she’s letting her human know that this child belongs to her right this moment. Go away, human, we have a nap to accomplish. I love Elsa’s stripes and eyeliner, and without the flower pattern she reclines in all her glory.

pencil sketch of tabby cat
Closeup of Elsa.

Below is the reference photo for the sketch above. Take note of the bedspread, you’ll see it again later…

little girl sleeping with cat
The beginning of the nap.

. . . . . . .

How To Have a Really Good Nap

pencil sketch of toddler and cat
“How To Have a Really Good Nap”, pencil, 9″ x 12″, 2005 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A little later, the covers are kicked off, positions change and Elsa is upside down. Now that’s a really good nap. To draw these, I worked from only the photos, and actually did most of the work while sitting at the small second-floor shop I had rented that year so I didn’t have my studio and all its stuff, but I had decided on pencil and knew I could work in less-than-optimal lap in a sketchbook on my lap, so I could take the whole thing with me.

Below, a closeup of Cassidy’s face.

pencil sketch of toddler
Closeup of Cassidy.

Because they were are digital photos I could print them out at about the size I wanted them to be so I could carry those with me too. I chose the sketchbook and printed out the prints, packed up my little pencil kit, and off I went. All the sketching is freehand, looking from the printout of the photo to my paper. You may see some of the same pencil techniques here as you see in my daily sketches, but these are much more finished than most of my dailies. Still, this is one of the outcomes of the daily sketches because I was working them fairly frequently at this time, mostly in pencil and ink. When my pencil hit the paper, I was ready.

And, of course, upside down Elsa.

pencil sketch of cat
Closeup of Elsa.

And the reference photo. Couldn’t be cuter.

little girl sleeping with cat
Cassidy and Elsa have a really good nap.

. . . . . . . .

I’ve had these sketches on my website for some years, but haven’t used them for anything in part because I wanted to wait for Cassidy to get a little older before I used them.

I chose to publish them today because just Monday my niece send me an updated photo of Cassidy at age 12 napping with her very own tabby kitty. Elsa is still the family cat, but a few years ago Cassidy decided she wanted her own kitty, so she and her mother went to the Humane Society and carefully chose a kitty for Cassidy. You can see them here.

. . . . . . .

My daily sketches from this era were less “daily” than now, but were still quite frequent. I carried a sketchbook with me outdoors and kept a sketchbook and pencil at the desk, and it is this second sketchbook that became my series,  “From the Lost Sketchbook” , where I’d found a sketchbook that I’d kept at my desk beginning in 2002 and used periodically until about 2005. This was a general purpose sketchbook and I used it for many things in addition to extemporaneous sketches such as illustrations and ideas, and it included sketches of my cats and a few other subjects. I was so happy to see it again when I found it in 2010 that I scanned all the sketches that were pertinent to The Creative Cat and posted them.

I first featured these sketches last year in late June but I’m happy to present them again. I am without a decent scanner again so I can’t scan daily sketches and they just don’t always photograph well, which is why you’ve seen mostly reprises for the past couple of weeks. I moved the kitchen computer to the studio when the old one pretty much quit working, and there is apparently a conflict of some sort with that computer and the printer/scanner in the studio. I hope to have it figured out soon. Things are backing up!


Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair
Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski
Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs
Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski
Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table
After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.

Download a Brochure

cover of brochure
My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.


Purchase a Gift Certificate

sample portrait certificate
Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I always offer portrait certificates, but can only extend that automatic 10% discount through Etsy, but you are more than welcome to purchase a gift certificate right here.

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.

Subscribe to My E-newsletter


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

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.

© 2014 | | 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.

5 thoughts on “Featured Artwork: Toddler and Tabby Cat, Two Sketches

  • love these sketches Bernadette….not sure which is cuter…1 or 2 🙂 !!

    N frum da tabbies; happee week oh end N heerz ta bonito flakes, bass N bloo gill ♥

    • Tabbies, that’s why I did them both. I remember looking at them side by side trying to choose just one, and it just didn’t happy. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

  • Such wonderfully relaxed shots of both and your sketches capture them beautifully.

    • Thanks, Animalcouriers! I just love them both, and it was a joy to sketch the curls and the stripes. Hard to believe how time flies!

  • Pingback: The Creative Cat - Daily Photo: Teen and Tabby

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by ExactMetrics