Mimi enjoys the warmth of the sun on her one side, and the reflection of it from the cabinet on her other.
Yes, this was yesterday’s Daily Sketch Reprise, but even as I posted it I knew I’d made up my mind what would be my May featured artwork and desktop calendar. I’d been undecided, choosing among six possibilities out of daily sketches that seemed to explore the color and feel of a sunny morning in may when leaves are sprouting and flowers are blooming and even the rain falls, and I was even considering coming up with a totally new piece of artwork.
The debate came down to this sketch and “Kelly on the Windowsill”, both reminiscent of this time of year in color and style, the flowers, the sun, the sky, the leaves, and even the bare branches in some cases echoed in the ink lines. I love to remember Kelly whenever I can, but looking them over I decided I’d actually featured Kelly no fewer than four times in desktop calendars, and that in only two years; someone else could have a chance.
There are many things I like about this sketch. Mimi’s nose, ears and whiskers, for instance, I just like the way they worked out, I feel I captured something essentially Mimi in that nose and, especially, her whisker pad with its almost angular shape, and her tiny ears. Her shape in general and the patterns of shadows and light, what was that you said about a black cat? Hmm. And I just like the way I handled the ink lines and watercolor pencil lines and washes, the patterns of lines on her back that described her fur, and the interesting angle of the foreshortened cabinet as well as all the exaggerated colors that really do work. I can tell you that the cabinet was much more difficult than the cat! Really, though it looks complicated, and it is, I guess I was warmed up that day because I visualized, I sketched, and there it was. I am rarely that lucky.
I really liked this as an ink sketch and almost left it with just Mimi, but when I had looked at Mimi in this very spot I envisioned an ink drawing with watercolor washes. I began the sketch on watercolor paper, and so I finished it. I like it just as much.
This has both deep shadows and bright highlights, and both direct and reflected light, a challenge for me in ink, for sure! But while Mimi did move her head to face front, look up at me and look behind herself, she sat for long enough for me to get the light and shadow on her torso sketched in with pen, then a bit of watercolor pencil scribbled on top.
And occasionally I like to use a piece of artwork that captures the texture of the paper. One of the things we miss in digital art and viewing images on the computer is texture and dimension, and it’s one of the things that, for me, makes art done by hand on paper feel so real. I hope you get the feeling of depth and dimension in looking at the texture from the watercolor paper, along with my sketchy lines, in this month’s featured artwork.
When I begin with a new medium I often visualize in that medium for days as I grow accustomed to it, so I’m not surprised to have two sketches in a row in the same medium and style, after Kelly on the Windowsill. I had grown accustomed to these watercolor pencils, later began to allow myself a wider brush than the No. 4 round to dissolve and spread the paint from my sketchy pencil lines. I have two more in this set which I did in the month of May 2012 for a total of four sketches that capture the brilliant sun and deep shadows, the light and the colors of spring days (read more about these below, as well as other art), and not long after this I went on to use this illustration style for a couple of commercial projects and then offered it as a commissioned portrait medium. Thanks, once again, to my fine felines for leading me somewhere I didn’t realize I’d needed to go.
As always, I will miss the prior month’s desktop calendar, seeing Sophie peeking at me from the lace curtain with the forget-me-nots blooming underneath her on a fine early spring evening, but I will enjoy exploring the lines and colors of “Mimi’s Sunbath” for an entire month to come.
This month’s desktop calendar
I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month. Looking at the downloads from previous months and averaging out which dimensions fit which devices, I have reduced the number of variations from 12 to three. It was very time-consuming to create all the variations with new devices arriving all the time, so I have one for horizontal monitors/screens, one for square monitors/screens, and one that should fit the dimensions of nearly all mobile devices. If these sizes don’t work for your device, please let me know.
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
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Square monitors and screens
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Small Mobile Devices and Tablets
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Cell Phones and Smartphones
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Where to find “Mimi’s Sunbath”
This sketch, matted and framed, is available for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as three others in the same style, Kelly with Grapes and Apple, Kelly on the Windowsill, and Top of the World. These are also available as a set; if you are interested in purchasing two or more, or purchasing a print, please ask.
12 Sketches of Cats Calendar
I’ve always admired oversized “art calendars”, the ones where the art is foremost and the calendar just an incidental means of presenting it. Calendars are printed on quality text or cover stock and are only printed on one side of the page with plenty of clear space around the artwork because the image is intended to be framable with nothing printed on the back.
And so 12 Sketches of Cats is digitally printed in the same archival inks and acid-free natural 100# smooth cover stock I use for the digital art prints I sell. Each page is 11″ x 17″ so there is plenty of space to have the art at or near its native size with room for the name and information about the art with the calendar at the bottom. The calendar is spiral-bound at the top with a hole drilled just beneath the spiral so you display one page at a time.
In addition to keeping art near its native size I’ve also sized most of the artwork so it will easily fit a standard frame size. Some images, such as “Shades of Gray” and “World Cat” are smaller than the originals to fit the page. I chose sketches for popularity and narrowed them down for a variety of style and medium. All of the images but one are in color; none of the pencil, charcoal or ink sketches seemed to fit with the color art in the calendar, so of course that might be a calendar of its own someday.
And there are actually 14 sketches if you count the cover, and there’s a bonus sketch on the title page that’s the one pencil sketch, but because covers see more wear and the title page image is a little small I’m keeping the title at 12. The art included in the calendar is:
Cover: Mimi’s Sunbath
Title page: A Tangle of Cats at the Door
January: Winter Light
February: Shades of Gray
March: Catamount Brushmore
April: Two Cats After van Gogh
May: In Afternoon Sun
June: Lazy Saturday Afternoon
July: Stanley with Geraniums
August: Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol
September: Three Warm Cats on a Cool Ground
October: Two in a Basket
November: Vigilant Nap
December: World Cat
This calendar costs a little more than the typical calendar because of the size and quality, and the value of what’s in it—I generally sell my prints for $10.00 to $25.00 each depending on the size, but in this calendar you get 14 prints if you count each image, for one price—$2.50 for each of 14 prints plus $10.00 to help FosterCat, Inc. house and support the cats in their system of foster homes, find homes for the cats they’ve rescued and help sponsor many cats rescued by Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement.
Order a calendar now
Calendars are $45.00 and as mentioned above I will donate $10.00 of each sale to FosterCat, Inc. Not only has FosterCat been doing its typical wonderful work in rescuing and finding forever homes for cats of all ages through its foster home-only all-volunteer organization, they have also been helping kittens and cats find homes who have been rescued by Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement, which allows all those who volunteer as a rescue to foster more cats and kittens.
NOTE: I will continue to sell this calendar until all I printed are gone, but because of the value of the art within it I will not discount it after the beginning of the year as I do others. The purchase price will always generate a $10.00 donation to a specified cat rescue or assistance organization.
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 Fine Art and Portraiture on my main website.
If you are interested in a print of this image, check my Etsy shop 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.
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 | 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!