Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stylized Sketching Helps Me Capture My Cats! Finally!

For another adventure in stylized drawings and overcoming my creative blocks in sketchbook scribbling, I decided to have a new go at drawing my cats.

For me, if dogs are hard, cats are impossible.  I hardly even try, they are so impossible.

Does anyone else out there have a problem drawing cats?

Anyhow, as I've shared in the last few posts, I've enjoyed drawing highly stylized scribbles of my dogs because by focusing on the style instead of on any sort of likeness, I am actually succeeding at catching some of the nature of the beasts!

First up with my cats, I continued with the high contrast drawings.  After drawing my earlier dog portraits with a fine line marker (and spending forever filling in the big blocks of black) I used a plain old medium point Sharpie and some marker paper for this portrait of my cat, Hattie.

Scribbling success for me, right here.  This took me only a few minutes to draw (always important, because on many days, I only have a few minutes to stop and really pay attention to the world around me).  And, hey, it looks like an actual cat!  Huzzah!!

Most importantly, thought, this scribble captures a bit of Hattie's indomitable personality.  Hattie is a large presence, both physically and psychologically.  Frankly, she is queen of the house.  And as such, she believes that all boxes should accommodate her.  I see that in this sketch and it makes me smile.

My other cat, Tim, is another story entirely.   For one thing, he is striped and orange and thus, wouldn't fare well in a highly graphic black and white drawing.

For another thing, he is the household sprite.  Nothing ever bothers him.  All is always well.  He derives pleasure and entertainment from everyone and everything.  Frankly, everyone in the world needs "more Tim."  

I wanted to do a stylized drawing, but it needed to be lighter in spirit and tone than the one of Hattie.

So I dug out some of my old cartooning books to get myself in a different sort of graphic frame of mind, and then drew this in under five minutes.

It took me a bit longer to watercolor it, because every layer had to dry before I could put on another. 

Now, does this look like Tim?  Not realistically, of course, no.  But does it capture a big part of Tim's personality?  Yes!!  Especially because he really does sit on or near that cabinet with an ever-hopeful look on his face almost every single evening.  Ten years from now, I know that this silly cartoon scribble of my cat will bring back everything about him that I adore now.

Well, that's probably enough of stylized drawings of my pets for a while!  Still, I hope you have found some useful ideas here for drawing your own pets, or for smashing through your creative sketching blocks. 

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