Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cat Sketches

Here's a happy selection of cat drawings for the New Year!  These are all of our handsome boy Squeeks, a brown tabby, some from when he was just a little kitten with a tiny thin meow, hence the name.  He's been with us for quite a few years now, doing his best to take care of the other two.  One, who would be a mess without his ministrations, the other young "Black'ins" too very aloof and independent to submit easily to his attentions.  It's his "job" and he works at it! 

Someone mentioned I'd been showing a lot of figures lately and since I've not posted either cat drawings or hatched/textural pieces in quite a while, thought that these might make a nice change. They are a change also from the spare contour line I've been emphasizing with the figures. The first two are ink, using my favorite #3 Staedtler Pigment Liner, while the two kitten faces on the right are soft pencil but handled very much like the others. In all, the hatchings mostly follow the contours of the cats body, mimicing the direction of the fur. Just putting the short lines close together gives the illusion of shadow, shading and therefore a sense of form. Tho' a bit softer in pencil, the techniques work the same in all. Close lines and cross hatching for the darks, wider spacing for the lights. Amanda Palmer, with her ukulele, has a song where she urges us to approach art as being easy. She's most likely talking about music but I think it's good advice for us!  Yes, work at it, look carefully, but make sure you enjoy the effort and it will really seem easy! Enjoy the subject and it's even more easy!

When it comes to drawing cats, unless you are extremely fast, about the only way you'll have easy success is to catch them sleeping. A try last night had him moving at every little sound and trying to catch the pencil, - a complete fiasco!

"Do at least one sketch each day and you'll sleep like a kitten each night."   Harley Brown

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this. "


  1. Very nice. The thing I love about this method is the contrast between the energy of the interior lines and the calm containment of the outer line.

  2. Thanks Kris,
    You must have looked very closely to have noticed that or did you click to enlarge? I don't get a lot of feed-back here, so often wonder how people handle the site. In fact some say they are denied entry to make comments! I'm putting up a facebook page (Drawing Dailies) where people can more easily make comments and even get some discussion going. What do you think?

    As for that outline, I've had mixed feelings but I like your nice idea about it, - definitely positive!