Daily Sketch: Kelly on the Windowsill

ink and watercolor of cat on windowsill

Kelly on the Windowsill, ink and watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Kelly enjoys the sun on her back on the bathroom windowsill, and also likely the reflected heat from the deck roof, just below. It’s not all that warm, but just warm enough to have the windows open in mid-afternoon. The pussy willow is right outside the window and the dappled leaves were charming, and the blue sky beyond.

Another combination of media that I enjoy, ink and watercolor. In this case I did the ink sketch first, then scribbled into it with watercolor pencil. The watercolor pencil is a two-part technique, first the drawing, then the watering. In this case I knew I’d want to leave some of my sketching lines and in other cases I wanted to obliterate them.

In other cases, such as the sky and the wall beneath her, I wanted both and I was very pleased with what happened when I just brushed a water-filled brush over my lines. I could achieve a multitude of techniques this way, with just random washes in the sky where I used the brush on its side, but patterned washes in the shadow on the wall where I used the tip of the brush (that’s a white sable no. 4 round, students, you know who you are) in straight parallel lines running through the angled watercolor pencil lines in green and blue.

This is the first time I’ve used this new set of watercolor pencils, Prismacolor 12-color set water-soluble colored pencils. The Derwent set had an excellent reputation, but I found them to be kind of weak in color, especially the darks, once I got the washes on it. I had also used them for a huge illustration for a sign I just finished and had to go over and over areas in order to get them as dark as I wanted, which took away from the feeling of freehand sketching.

In the Prismacolor set, the colors dissolved and blended easily though I’m not sure why the dark green in the leaves did not; it did where I used it in Kelly’s shadows. I had wanted to brush the two greens together to look more random and leafy.

I should have done some color test swatches with the pencils before I began to be sure what shades they would end up. The sky and the shadow on the windowsill behind Kelly are two different shades of blue, but they certainly don’t look like it and kind of blend together.

But so far, I like this set much better than the other two.

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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: Mr. Sunshine’s Blue-green Bath

sketch of cat bathing

Mr. Sunshine's Blue-green Bath, pastel and charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

The colors don’t correspond to anything, I was just visualizing him this way while I watched him bathe. I did the simple charcoal sketch first, thinking I might just stop at that, but kept seeing the greens and blues and that yellow in this kind of rubbed-in style where the colors are blended together and you can see my swirled fingerprints. It is literally rubbed into the paper (except for what’s on my hands, my desk, Jelly Bean…) so that it loses the character of pastel and looks more like paint.

After I rubbed it in I retraced the sketch to hold the shape. For a while in my early experimentations as an artist I outlined everything, nothing looked complete until it had a black outline on it, and I still like the look of it now and then.

Then he needed to be somewhere so I added the pink and purple and tan in vague angled strokes to indicate vertical and horizontal planes. If I were to work on this yet more, which I might, I’d work orange and burnt orange into the pink, blue into the purple, and light pink into the tan, and rub them in like the blues and greens and yellows.

The drawing paper I use is fairly sturdy and though smooth has a little tooth to it, enough to hold a layer of chalk pastel though I could never add more layers and blend like Kelly in Warm Colors—that is drawn on paper with enough tooth and texture to hold lots of pastel.

I just love their baths, I love the shapes they make, the curves and the overall simplicity of their form, and I also love Mr. Sunshine’s completely relaxed tail and the details of his angled ears, his toes and whiskers.

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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: Kelly in Silhouette

sketch of cat bathing

Kelly in Silhouette, conté © B.E. Kazmarski

Kelly is having a good bath in the sun while shadows and reflections fall all around her from the light streaming in the window. In the strong light she was in silhouette but highlighted by the light on her fur. What better than the depth of charcoal and the strong natural red of conté? A quick outline was all I got before she decided I should feed her and she left her bath and came to me, purring. I finished the rest from memory.

Wish I’d grabbed my pastels before I saw her and ran back to my desk where I keep my art materials. I had headed into the kitchen for a lemonade and found her happily bathing in the sun. Often, the sun falls the same way and they will spend a few days in a certain pattern. Perhaps I can catch her another day.

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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.


Two New Daily Sketches on Etsy

watercolor of two cats on blanket

Purple Cats, Red Blanket, ink and watercolor © B.E.Kazmarski

I’ve added two more daily sketches to my Etsy shop, both Purple Cats, Red Blanket from 1/6/12 and Sleeping and Bathingfrom 1/10/12. Looks like Mewsette and Jelly Bean are the winners this week! Read the post on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

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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: Sleeping

charcoal sketch of cat sleeping

Sleeping, vine charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

Mewsette curls up for a nap under the kitty keep-warm lights at the desk in my office downstairs.

No more full coverage with the charcoal, just good, heavy lines with lots of variation in shape and opacity to help describe both Mewsette’s outline and dimensional shape.

My cats and I are creatures of habit, but of evolving habits. For days my cats had been crowding under the kitty keep-warm lamps but have been slowly losing interest and only Mewsette remains to act as feline paperweight on my desk. At the same time I have been exploring my piece of vine charcoal with their outlines and shapes, fur and eyes and paws, working with different techniques every day; their shapes and the density of the shadows under the high-intensity lamps inspired this exploration. We work together on these things, but I am feeling we are all ready to move on to new media, and they to a new heat source.

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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: Sleeping and Bathing

charcoal sketch of two black cats

Sleeping and Bathing, charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

Mewsette and Jelly Bean demonstrate two of the most important activities in a cat’s life.

Right now, Mewsette is watching me compose this post. I wonder what she’s thinking.

I’m thinking that I can’t see fully half of my monitor.

But one of the things I’ve always liked about painting animals is that they never tell me what I’ve painted doesn’t look like them. I don’t take this to mean they like it, though.

I tried a few new/old charcoal techniques here, mainly using a kneaded eraser to remove most of the charcoal in an area—removing all of it is never possible—then sketching on top of that area to add an extra level of dimension. Mewsette’s back, side and forehead were done this way. In addition, I used the kneaded eraser create highlighted fur by shaping the eraser in a thin shape and sketching with it.

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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: Confusing Cuddle Puddle

charcoal sketch of three black cats

Confusing Cuddle Puddle, vine charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

I made the mistake of turning on the little high-intensity work lamps today, and this was the result. See if you can figure out how many cats are here and just how they are positioned.

Seeing them curled up under my work lamps was the second biggest inspiration to do daily sketches, probably because I see them that way every day. Four of them piled up was my second daily sketch entitled Reticulated Kitties. (Sleeping on the bed was the first.)

At least when they’re sleeping they hold still long enough for me to get everything in the right place. Yes, a pile of black cat, and they are so close they might as well all be one.

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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.


Art Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

pastel painting of snowy morning

Morning Snow 1

I hadn’t actually realized how much art I’ve done in, or and inspired by my backyard until I made my list. I had intended when I moved here to fill my yard with subjects for painting, and I guess I succeeded.

So here are thumbnails with links to the pages on my website where you’ll find them. I have them categorized by wild birds, landscapes, flowers and still lifes, and Winter White, which was a show I did entirely of small pieces of winter-themed artwork. You’ll have to scroll around because my pages are still in html, not php or any other script where you can do a customized search, but I hope you enjoy browsing.

All of these images are available as prints or sets of notecards, or you may purchase reproduction rights for use on a website or print publication. Please respect my ownership of these images and purchase them if you’d like to use them—check my online Marketplace to see what’s available and check my Marketplace blog for Backyard Inspired Greeting Cards and Eye on the Sparrow Notecards and Writing Paper,  two sets which feature many of these images.

Wild Birds are on Wildlife, and some are also in Winter White.

painting of junco on snowy branch

Snow Bird

pastel drawing of blue jays in tree

Jammin'Jay Blues

pastel painting of cardinal in snowy branches

Accent

pastel painting of birds in snow

Birds in Snow

pencil drawing of doves in bare tree

Biding Time

charcoal sketch of birds in spruce

The Sparrows in the Spruce

linoleum block print of chickadees on tree branch

Busy Chickadees

block print of nature

Near and Far Away

Landscapes are obviously on my Landscapes page, but you can also see the winter-themed ones on Winter White.

pastel painting of snowy morning

Morning Snow 1

pastel painting of snow under trees

Morning Snow 2

pastel painting of misty dawn

Dawn

pastel painting of foggy morning with spruces

Fog

watercolor of tree branches against winter sky

Tracings

pastel painting of clouds

Cloud Study

pastel painting of bird bath and forget me nots

Forget-me-nots

pastel painting of evening landscape

Spring Evening on the Hills

pastel painting of a spring sunrise

Spring Sunrise

pastel painting of green pepper in bowl

One Pepper

pastel painting of pink and red roses in a vase

Small Roses

pastel painting of red petunias on deck railing

Petunias

These are also primarily Landscapes but since they are winter-themed I have them linked to Winter White.

watercolor of tree shadows on snow

Colorful Shadows

watercolor of tree shadows on snow

Gentle Shadows

pastel painting of bare tree branches against sky

Wild Black Cherry Tree

pencil drawing of bare tree branches

Tree Study

pastel painting of tree trunks and shadows

Standing Trees

pastel painting of tracks in the snow

Tracks

I hope you enjoy your visit!

Read all the articles in this series

An Introduction to Backyard Wildlife Habitats

What’s in Your Backyard? The First Step in Planning Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat

What Else is in Your Backyard: The Fauna That Fill It

Bringing it All Together: Enhancing and Developing Your Habitat

Art Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Photography Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Poetry Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Prose Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat