Cats

Long overdue for an update!

Yikes, it's been almost ten months since I've posted here. So what have I been up to since then? Well, there was a commission painting last year and some random experiments. Recently I've been getting my art room organized by putting up cabinets and shelves for additional storage. And, while at Emerald City Comic Con, I decided to buy some Copic Markers since they had a big booth there. I bought a 12 pack a while back but not any paper for them because it was out of stock so I was left underwhelmed by the markers when I tried them out. However, after watching some YouTube videos of other artists using htem, I decided to give them another try and was quickly hooked. The right paper is very important to take advantage of the blending abilities.

So next I had to decide what I wanted to try creating with them. There were many paintings from my attempt at a 52 project last year that I wished I had longer to work on and refine. So why not do just that! My first Catventures painting seemed like an ideal starting point. After mulling over various layouts and poses for the cats I settled on this: 

With my sketch done, I didn't want to use the same piece of paper to complete the work because I wanted to try out various things with the Copic markers. So I scanned the sketch, printed it out and with a lightbox traced an outline with pen. Oh, I also made my own lightbox recently out of a 16"x20" hardwood canvas and LED strips. With the pen outline, I scanned that in and printed it out directly on Copic marker paper with my inkjet printer. This all allows me to preserve the original sketch, and produce multiple outlines to experiment with. After some color experimenting I got to work. Here's the completely version of that:

All the color was done with Copic markers and then I used white gouache for the fog. Then I scanned that and did some digital edits. Mainly adding the deckled edge effect which I used this tutorial for. Partway through this piece I realized I screwed up on adding the sun as a light source based on how I had shaded the piece in both the sketch and outline. But I decided to ignore that and finish the piece anyways to get the experience. 

With my first Copic marker piece completely, I'm now looking at doing another one with this same outline but perhaps a different environment. 

Run, Xander, Run (9/52)

Robot Rob just wants the kitty snuggles, but Xander won't be having any of that. 

Went with a fairly simple piece this week so I didn't feel rushed. I felt it was time for Xander to be featured in a painting so here he is! He's a shy kitty so this seems fitting. Though I'm sure most cats would run away from a giant robot chasing them. 

"The robots won't find me here."


Dear Kitten

For February I will be donating to the Homeward Pet Adoption Center in honor of Oz and in celebration of my new family member, Xander (who came from Homeward). I am also doubling my donation amount to 30% for my animal related items. 

Prints of Oz Meowl (8x10 | 12x16) and Harmony (8x10 | 12x18) are also now available for purchase.

Welcome to the Jungle (4/52)

It's not all fun and games when it takes forever to come up with an idea for the week. I had a busier week than normal too which was starting to make this task feel a bit daunting. I was trying hard to come up with a landscape idea again to no avail so I tried to just go with the unusual subject matter for Asian paintings theme. This was a fairly freeform painting with just the stegosaurus sketched out first. I'm not a huge fan of how the perspective on him turned out nor how crisp the brush strokes are on him (compared to the rest), but overall I like the look of it. 

With week 4 complete, am I very glad to see I actually made it through the first month of this project and kept on schedule! Just 48 more paintings to go.

 

Now, as for one big reason why my week was busier than normal....

New kitty!!! This is Xander, he came home with me from the Homeward Pet Adoption Center on Saturday. He's a very shy guy but has made excellent progress so far. Now I just need to work on getting Willow to stop hissing in his cute little face. There will be more photos of Xander to see in my Instagram feed.

Oz Meowl (3/52)

Oz Meowl - Final piece and very first scan on my fancy schmancy new scanner.

Why, look! It's Oz again, sorta. Somewhere in a magical land there's the cutest little Oz meowl... kitlet? I was having trouble coming up with inspiration for a landscape painting so I decided to go with this old idea to keep the project going. If you are you unfamiliar with the concept of meowls, do yourself a favor and Google it.

The sketch

This painting was done on semi-sized Xuan paper to control the bleeding, but I'm not sure if that was the right call. Perhaps I'll do a second meowl painting later on raw paper to see. I debated doing this on watercolor paper but felt it was a better fit for the texture of Xuan paper with all the white space.

Originally my sketch had him with his eyes open, you can still see the faint marks of this in the sketch. I was having trouble getting the expression right so I went with his eyes closed. Partway thought the painting I realized he probably should be squatting more if he was taking a nap. So I guess he's more just basking in the sunlight. 

Harmony (2/52) (and the story of Oz)

Harmony (2/52) (and the story of Oz)

My second painting took a detour from my original plan. The inspiration for this is none other than my cats, Oz and Willow, who would often be found cuddling not too far from this. They were such a great pair that using the yin-yang imagery felt perfect. 

As I briefly mentioned last time, 2015 did not get off to a good start for me. It almost derailed this project before the first week was up. But, I managed pull myself together and continue on doing the only thing that felt right.