Daily Sketch: Fangs

sketch of cat sleeping

Sleeping With Fangs, ink © B.E. Kazmarski

There’s been a lot of this lately, lolling about on my desk. When Giuseppe turns his head upside down, his mouth falls open and I can see two little fangs. Vicious kitty. He fell deeply asleep so I had the chance to sketch him.

Not a difficult or detailed sketch, but just a note on drawing a subject in an orientation different from the way you are accustomed to seeing them. Even looking directly at him, my inner eye kept turning him right side up, and it was almost like yesterday when I was trying to draw around Mimi’s initial outline and it was confusing me.

This was done with a .35 felt-tip technical marker.

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Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Daily Sketch: Relaxing

charcoal sketch of two cats

Relaxing, charcoal pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

I’m glad someone got some work done around here today because my cats were all totally useless. So the temperature was a humid 82 degrees in mid-afternoon. I wasn’t lying around like a dishrag! But I did have two or more cats on my desk all day, and still do at this very moment. I guess they wanted me to see how miserable they were.

Mimi sits up for a brief interlude of awakeness in an entire day of sleeping on top of the same pile of mail in nearly the same position all day. For most of the time, Giuseppe used her as a pillow, at which point you couldn’t see too much of her. Giuseppe takes up enough room for two cats and tries to spread himself as far as he can go.

Even in their resting state, unless they are in a deep sleep, they move constantly. Most sketches take me less than five minutes as my goal is to challenge my observation skills and hand-eye coordination and to keep from getting mired down in details. When I sketch them as outlined figures, I rough in their approximate outline, then go from one section to another with harder lines to define the outline. When I have more figures I rough in all of them then define their heads and other features as quickly as possible.

Paws and tails and heads may move in the meantime but the light rough outline keeps me in line and unless they get up and move completely before I have enough detail I’m fine with filling in quickly from that extremely short-term memory that holds an image in my mind clearly, but only for a few minutes before it begins to fade. In this case Mimi had been initially washing her face and her head was curved down much farther and at a different angle. She sat up, so I worked on other areas of the sketch waiting to see if she would go back to washing her face. In this case the short-term memory was holding too much, and there are times when I will put the sketch aside but keep an eye on the cat in question, and even hours later catch them in the same activity and finish the section I need. She never did go back to that position, so I drew her upright position instead.

If I’ve drawn in guidelines or even begun to firm up an area and they move, I leave the lines there, and I’ll try to work them into the finished sketch. I don’t erase anything unless, when I’m done, something in the finished sketch looks too confusing to let it go, and then I’ll try my best to lighten the lines or remove them. In this case something was confusing to me while I was drawing and I had to remove prior lines. Where Mimi had been leaning forward washing her face as I described above, my prior lines kept me thinking she was crouching and I was tending to draw what I was thinking instead of what was there, that three-quarter back posture, the two alert ears, her attention turned away. I had to erase that original outline as best as I could in order to go on.

All that for this simple little sketch!

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Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Daily Sketch: Minding Their Own Business

sketch of two cats

Minding Their Own Business, charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

Sometimes, this is all we see.

I like the times when they are going about their business without me involved. Jelly Bean is curled, sleeping, at the top of the steps where the sun had been shining, briefly awakened by Mewsette as she climbs the steps and rounds the corner into my bedroom. No faces, no interaction with me, they are just being house cats finding their afternoon nap spots.

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Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Daily Sketch: Quickly, Before They Wake

pencil sketch of two cats cuddling

Quickly, Before They Wake, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Giuseppe and Mewsette spent the day on my desk and I watched as they cuddled, stretched and blocked my view. I’ve already sketched those postures, they are moving too much, I’m in the middle of something…

But when they tucked their heads in together like two commas cuddling, I furtively grabbed my sketchbook and a pencil and quietly but quickly stood up to do a quick sketch of their two faces tucked together; sometimes my movements or even looking at them wakens them, especially as the afternoon draws along and they are thinking of dinner. I did manage to snap a photo as well, but they sensed my vigilance and woke up to look around, shift, and the moment was over.

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Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Daily Sketch: Bean Line

outline of cat

Bean Line, charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

I have a few of my more minimalistic cat drawings from college framed and hanging and stored in portfolios upstairs in my studio where I spent the weekend framing. After all the indulgence in color I am still in that space with just a few black lines on paper.

This one in particular is one black line, a continuous line to draw Jelly Bean’s outline as he sat right in front of me on my desk, dozing. I had to backtrack in a few areas around his face in order to get his profile right, and then I decided to add just the swash for his closed eye, separate from all the rest.

I can smudge pastel around and scribble with the pencil all I want, but if I can’t draw a good line then I need to practice more.

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Click here to see other daily sketches, and for a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Giuseppe and His Goldfinch Buddy: 2011

black cat with goldfinch

Giuseppe with his buddy the goldfinch.

I haven’t been able to get a photo yet this year, and I’m still not sure if it’s the same little guy, but the goldfinch is back!

I’m not sure exactly when this began or if it’s the same goldfinch, but this will be the third year a goldfinch has come to the window and engaged Giuseppe in a conversation. Likely, though, it is the same goldfinch—they are returning and this is the first time I’ve seen this visit this year.

You can see the goldfinch on the outside looking right at Giuseppe, and I might think he was reacting to a reflection in the window, but when I open the window during the summer, the goldfinch comes to the screen.

Giuseppe doesn’t jump at him, just paws the screen or window, but never acts like a predator. With other birds that come to the window and visit the feeder, he certainly does!

The goldfinch doesn’t say a word, just looks inside.

None of the other cats react to the goldfinch or even seem to notice it when it comes to the window. Often, once Giuseppe has noticed it, another will come by and chase it off.

I’m sure they know each other, these two, Giuseppe and the goldfinch. Maybe they’re just exchanging guy talk. Perhaps someday I’ll figure out how that is.

black cat with goldfinch

Giuseppe waves at the goldfinch.


Daily Sketch: Resting, Spring Afternoon

two cats in watercolor

Resting, Spring Afternoon, watercolor pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Hmmm, testing some new/old watercolor pencils found in a box of stuff, not sure but they might be ready to retire. These weren’t quite the colors I was expecting, some blended nicely, others ended up with a lot of scribbling.

Nice composition, though, always nice when Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine settle together to look out the window and watch the birds on a spring afternoon.

Maybe I like it in black and white. This way you can see the underlying sketch, the tones intended to create the shapes, and the overall composition.

grayscale version of two cats

Same as above, converted to grayscale in PhotoShop.

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Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches.

And read about purchasing them and requesting them as a donation item for your shelter or rescue group in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.