Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Featured Daily Sketch: A Dozen Shades of Gray, 2012

pastel silhouette of cat
“A Dozen Shades of Gray”, gray pastels, 4″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It’s still surprising to me that this has always been one of the most popular of all my daily sketches, and as of the second anniversary of creating and posting my daily sketches it was the most popular. I’ve shipped it all over the country, into Canada, the UK, Poland, Hong Kong, Japan, and probably a few others I’ve forgotten. It’s a thrill to know little Bean is so easily understood in so many different countries—art and cats transcend spoken language.

I love, love, Jelly Bean’s shape. He’s not fat, he’s not even too round, but somehow when he sits in certain positions I just want to pick him up he looks so pleasingly rounded.

In this case he was simply sitting on the table in front of the window looking out. Very little direct sun was shining on him, but it was shining around him, so he was almost in silhouette and just a few swatches of direct light, but a lot of reflected light, described his shape.

I have a set of 12 gray pastels and decided to work with them for this after yesterday’s sketch when the white charcoal just would not sketch boldly enough. I also thought I’d jump on the “Shades of Gray” bandwagon. Everyone is using that phrase now.

My scanner over-scanned this, and I scanned it several times to see if I could change how it came up. All those little white specs are not actually there in my sketch, but they are thin areas in the pastel. When the scanner light shines on something that’s not quite opaque, it will shine right through it depending on its opacity, and so it did here. I find the little dots irritating because I worked hard to work them out of the sketch. But it think the relevant details are still visible.


I love Jelly Bean for modeling this. It’s not just the shape, but the calm zen aspect. He was like that. I just want to cup one hand on each side of him.

matted framed sketch of cat
A Dozen Shades of Gray, matted and framed © B.E. Kazmarski

Where to find this artwork

The original has been sold, seen at right in its frame. I still love the way this turned out!

I offer archival-quality digital, canvas and gicleé prints of “A Dozen Shades of Gray” on Portraits of Animals. Ask about custom framing as well.


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 | | 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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