Daily Sketch: Update on Two Cats After van Gogh

revised oil pastel sketch

Two Cats After van Gogh (revised with background) oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I looked at yesterday’s little sketch at my desk and decided that if I was to truly create homage to van Gogh, I needed to have a background for these two to exist within, especially that lovely cerulean blue and turquoise van Gogh often used, and lots of little sketch lines and areas. I covered up yesterday’s signature so I scraped my name into the oil pastel in the lower left as Vincent often did in his paint. Ah, this has been too much fun.

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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.


Daily Sketch: Two Cats After van Gogh

oil pastel sketch of two cats

Two Cats After van Gogh, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I am channeling Vincent van Gogh tonight, trying to work the same energy and form I see in his brush strokes. I can layer with oil pastel, but can’t apply or build up the thickness of medium that can be accomplished with paint; this sketch is also quite small, about 6″ x 5″, so I can’t work all the little strokes in as I’d like, but perhaps I’ll actually try this on canvas at some point, and something a little bigger.

It’s Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine, just quietly hanging together on the landing, Giuseppe sitting upright, Sunshine loafing. I know they are both aware of me because several ears are turned my way, yet they have no intention of giving me the time of day or anything else by turning to look at me.

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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.


Daily Sketch: Grape Jelly Bean

oil pastel sketch of cat

Grape Jelly Bean, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Thinking of yesterday’s sketch and the others in that series of Mewsette as various concepts instead of as herself, here is the initial oil pastel sketch I painted back in December. The paper has a laid finish like watercolor paper instead of coarser canvas, and though I can’t layer the oil pastel as much I think this level of texture holds the detail much better. Next attempt in this style will be on this paper!

I have more art materials close at hand in my studio and I’ve had this idea for working in oil pastel and Jelly Bean was the intended subject. Jelly Bean settled himself under my work lights as I had envisioned and voilà, there is a Grape Jelly Bean.

I frequently work in chalk pastel, especially for commissioned portraits, because of its versatility in application and range of colors from delicate to vibrant to deep. Chalk pastels are made from pure pigment in a binder ranging from fine clay to gum arabic or cellulose to form a shape to be held in hand to draw and are, as the term “chalk” would describe, a dry medium.

Oil pastels may have a similar name but that’s about the end of the similarity. A relatively new medium at less than 100 years old, the pigment is combined with a non-drying oil and wax which makes it more like a soft crayon, and that was exactly what it felt like when I first began to work with it years ago, a crayon! I put it aside, disliking the feel of it and my lack of control, but when I worked in an art supply store and frame shop, I framed an oil pastel drawing that absolutely fascinated me with how it had been applied with abandon, layered, and even had areas carved out of it nearly down to the paper to create visual and physical texture.

Where chalk pastel is blended like a powder, oil pastel is much more difficult to blend but may be done by drawing one color atop the other, using a burnishing tool or paper stomp or even using a solvent medium like linseed oil or turpentine, so I put all the techniques to use.

What I wanted to use was the way the colors do and don’t combine, using just about every color in the box to create the highlights and shadows. And though the Bean is a little black cat, there is not one dot of black anywhere on here. That was the other part of the assignment for me—non-representational color! After nearly a month of these sketches I feel a little more confident about loosening up, and in fact just dropped what I was doing, grabbed the little sketch pad and the red violet pastel and started sketching, adding other colors, layering, and overlaying.

The regular drawing paper I use would work okay for this, but that paper is rather thin and working heavily as I had intended with this would stretch and wrinkle the paper. I found a stack of little 5″ x 7″ sketch pads at, of all places, JoAnn Fabrics for $1.00 each. Who would be afraid to experiment with that kind of an investment? Intended for acrylic paint, this is thicker and has more texture than the usual sketch paper I use. This sketch is also smaller—the actual image is only 3.5″ x 5.5″; not sure why, that’s just the way it worked out.

I love Jelly Bean’s very roundness. While he is probably just a little rounder than he should be, he also has stocky characteristics and likes to bunch himself up so that he looks like a bunch of balls of yarn perhaps, all stuck together. In fact, I did an earlier sketch of him today entitled “Circles” which I will save for a day when I don’t have one where he is sitting crouched on the top of the stool at my easel just being very round from his head to his paws.

I think I will have to create a custom frame for this one!

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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.


Daily Sketch: Mewsette as a Sunny Spring Morning

cat shape in oil pastel

Mewsette As a Sunny Spring Morning, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

All the trees and shrubs are leafing out here, especially the lilac right outside the north window where the bird feeder hangs. All morning long sun dapples the new bright green leaves with constant change and movement. Through the branches I can see neighbors’ blooming apples, crabapples, the first of the azaleas and the last of my forsythia.

All this came together as I watched the light play over Mewsette’s fur and became the third variation on this theme I’ve been exploring of oil pastel on canvas paper, mottled and mixed and then scraped and scored.

I’m actually not pleased with her shape because I liked her first position by the window and her second and tried to combine them. Still, these are just sketches, and I think after this I will move them to less-textured paper. It’s been fun to work it all out.

Here are the other two paintings of Mewsette in oil pastel: Mewsette in Blues and Greens and Mewsette as a Rainy Spring Day.

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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.


Daily Sketch: Mewsette as a Rainy Spring Day

oil pastel drawing of cat

Mewsette As a Rainy Spring Day, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Something about the light today and Mewsette with her calm quiet look, back to the window, watching me, I got out the oil pastels for the colors, then started experimenting.

I remember years ago with a weekend part-time job in an art and framing store—after a week of being a typesetter it was a joy with the added benefit of huge discounts on materials and meeting lots of local artists who came in to have their work framed. I was just beginning as an artist, had produced my first four cat paintings an decided I needed to look into this. What I learned form being there was invaluable.

A young man came in one day with a long narrow painting of a farm with a big sky done in oil pastel, totally foreign to me at that time. I worked up his estimate and studied his painting to see how he’d applied and blended the pastels, and saw that he not only had layers and blends of pastel, but in some areas he’d actually scratched away pastel for effect. What I was as a rail fence was actually where he had used a fork to scrape away the oil pastel for the highlights on the fence rails.

That memory never left me and years later I’ve been working in oil pastel now and then to develop a familiarity with it. Here I’ve applied many colors, rubbed them into the canvas paper, scraped others off and layered another color in its place, then used what was handy as a scraper, the edge of the cap of a pen, to scrape away the pastel in the shape I wanted.

I had intended something else entirely, but what’s here is fine. I did another painting of Mewsette in oil pastel a while ago, Mewsette in Blues and Greens.

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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.


Daily Sketch: Mewsette in Blues and Greens

oil pastel sketch of cat

Mewsette in Blues and Greens, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

On days I spend in the studio I just have more toys handy. This sketch of Mewsette is done in oil pastel on canvas paper, real artist’s canvas, lightly gessoed, in a tablet. Because of the texture of the paper, which I enjoyed working on, Miss Mewsette had to be a little larger than the usual sketch, but she did not mind.

You can read about the difference between oil pastels and chalk pastels in Daily Sketch: Grape Jelly Bean, but suffice it to say I enjoy the immediacy of bright color and the addition of texture. Mewsette settled under the work lights on my table upstairs and the light is also reflecting back up from the surface, a cool-toned light which originally gave me the idea for the blues and greens unlike her mom’s sketch from yesterday where I wanted to catch the mahogany tones in Mimi’s fur.

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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.


Daily Sketch: Grape Jelly Bean

oil pastel sketch of cat

Grape Jelly Bean, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I have more art materials close at hand in my studio and I’ve had this idea for working in oil pastel and Jelly Bean was the intended subject. Jelly Bean settled himself under my work lights as I had envisioned and voilà, there is a Grape Jelly Bean.

I frequently work in chalk pastel, especially for commissioned portraits, because of its versatility in application and range of colors from delicate to vibrant to deep. Chalk pastels are made from pure pigment in a binder ranging from fine clay to gum arabic or cellulose to form a shape to be held in hand to draw and are, as the term “chalk” would describe, a dry medium.

Oil pastels may have a similar name but that’s about the end of the similarity. A relatively new medium at less than 100 years old, the pigment is combined with a non-drying oil and wax which makes it more like a soft crayon, and that was exactly what it felt like when I first began to work with it years ago, a crayon! I put it aside, disliking the feel of it and my lack of control, but when I worked in an art supply store and frame shop, I framed an oil pastel drawing that absolutely fascinated me with how it had been applied with abandon, layered, and even had areas carved out of it nearly down to the paper to create visual and physical texture.

Where chalk pastel is blended like a powder, oil pastel is much more difficult to blend but may be done by drawing one color atop the other, using a burnishing tool or paper stomp or even using a solvent medium like linseed oil or turpentine, so I put all the techniques to use.

What I wanted to use was the way the colors do and don’t combine, using just about every color in the box to create the highlights and shadows. And though the Bean is a little black cat, there is not one dot of black anywhere on here. That was the other part of the assignment for me—non-representational color! After nearly a month of these sketches I feel a little more confident about loosening up, and in fact just dropped what I was doing, grabbed the little sketch pad and the red violet pastel and started sketching, adding other colors, layering, and overlaying.

The regular drawing paper I use would work okay for this, but that paper is rather thin and working heavily as I had intended with this would stretch and wrinkle the paper. I found a stack of little 5″ x 7″ sketch pads at, of all places, JoAnn Fabrics for $1.00 each. Who would be afraid to experiment with that kind of an investment? Intended for acrylic paint, this is thicker and has more texture than the usual sketch paper I use. This sketch is also smaller—the actual image is only 3.5″ x 5.5″; not sure why, that’s just the way it worked out.

I love Jelly Bean’s very roundness. While he is probably just a little rounder than he should be, he also has stocky characteristics and likes to bunch himself up so that he looks like a bunch of balls of yarn perhaps, all stuck together. In fact, I did an earlier sketch of him today entitled “Circles” which I will save for a day when I don’t have one where he is sitting crouched on the top of the stool at my easel just being very round from his head to his paws.

I think I will have to create a custom frame for this one!

________________________

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.