Favorite Daily Sketches Available on Etsy

framed painting of sleeping cat

Kelly in Warm Colors, framed pastel, 8" x 10" © B.E. Kazmarski

You could say this is a People’s Choice Gallery! I appreciate the feedback and requests about my daily sketches on The Creative Cat. According to what you’ve asked I’ve expanded the gallery of daily sketches in my Etsy shop to include both framed originals and digital prints as well as a few framed prints. I am working on framing for others as well. If there’s a sketch you’d like to see in my Etsy shop, please speak up!

Above is “Kelly in Warm Colors” in a frame I hand-tinted in tones of gold to match the warm colors in the sketch. For the mats I used a forest green suede-finish mat for that wonderful richness it imparts and the natural patterning of suede that mimics my blending and fingering style when I work my pastel on drawing paper, and a gold liner mat that brings a little bit of reflected light next to the painting. Overall it’s 8″ x 10″, and I’m very pleased to see this sweet little sketch in this more finished form. I am also offering it as a digital print, and in the very near future will also offer this and many others as small prints on stretched canvas—my first proofs of these have worked well and been very attractive. Read more about this sketch from the day I posted it.

Other small and colorful works

Here are a the other small and colorful sketches I’ve added to my gallery.

framed oil pastel sketch of cat

Grape Jelly Bean, framed oil pastel, 8" x 10" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Grape Jelly Bean from the day I posted it. I learned the art and skill of picture framing years ago when I had an estimate on framing the first of my own cat portraits. Now I purchase directly from wholesale suppliers and often from manufacturers and a portion of my studio and my time is devoted to keeping my matboards, frames, glass, finishes and specialized tools for framing. But I’ll often shop for quality pre-made frames for smaller art because it’s often less expensive.

framed watercolor of cat

Colorful Kelly, framed watercolor, 8" x 10 © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Colorful Kelly from the day I posted it. I love these wide, plain white frames I found! The moment I saw them I knew they’d be perfect for these small simple and colorful paintings.

framed print of oil pastel painting

Two Cats After van Gogh, framed digital print, 8" x 10" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Two Cats After van Gogh from the day I posted it. The weathered white frame is nice for small colorful works as well. I had spent some time playing around with customizing mat boards and wide wooden unfinished frames to coordinate with these three works, above, but no matter what I did it just overwhelmed the works. I decided to let them speak for themselves, and these simple frames to do that with just the addition of complementary, unpatterned mats.

The original sketch of “Two Cats After van Gogh” actually sold before I had the chance to post it, but I’ve decided to offer a print framed as the original in its place.

Larger sketches in one or two colors

Several pencil, charcoal, ink and conté sketches were also popular, and I’ve framed the first group for which I gathered complementary frames and mats. In addition to retail frames and custom framing, I also “repurpose” older frames which I purchase at thrift shops, and I have a constant supply which friends give me rather than tossing them in the trash or donating them. Matching art with frames is just as fun.

framed pencil sketch of cats on a bed

Curled on the Bed, framed pencil sketch, 12" x 14" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Curled on the Bed from the day I posted it. I’ve had this frame for a while with its little scrolly pattern in a dull gold with a blue-gray wash that fills the areas between the curlicues. I had intentionally included background details in this sketch and thought this frame would help to bring them forward with both the pattern and color.

framed pencil sketch of three cats on bed

Three Cats, framed pencil sketch, 12" x 16" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Three Cats from the day I posted it. I use this black molding for a number of things and its matte finish always takes as a very dense black, but that contrasts well with the more delicate pencil lines and shadings of one of my first daily sketches—the one that inspired me to begin posting daily sketches, in fact. I used softer tones with this, a mauve marbled top mat and solid mauve liner mat, to enhance the idea of peaceful rest demonstrated by three cuddling kitties.

framed pencil sketch of three cats eating

Dinnertime!, framed pencil sketch, 12" x 16" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Dinnertime! from the day I posted it. This sketch of the three girls is one of my favorites, and because Kelly and Cookie are torties with touches of orange and Mimi has a good bit of mahogany in her fur I used a rust-colored liner mat to recall those tones, and a silver-gray marbled mat to complement the pencil.

framed pencil and watercolor sketch of cat

Peaches' Nap Spot, pencil with watercolor, 12" x 16" © B.E. Kazmarski

This sketch is not one of the current set I’ve been posting on The Creative Cat, but from a few years ago when I did sketches around the house occasionally, featuring sweet little Peaches. I’ve used this sketch to illustrate stories and also offer it as a greeting card, but the original has been tucked into a sketch book for safe keeping; I decided to frame it along with these others.

conte sketch of three cats

Massive Cuddle Puddle, conté and charcoal, 11" x 14" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Massive Cuddle Puddle from the day I posted it. The full name of this sketch is “Massive Cuddle Puddle Blocks Major Work Space” and coordinates with a few photo posts from a day when my desk was piled high with cats cuddling under the kitty keep-warm lamps. It has surprised me that a medium like conté, which is not very well-known outside of art classes though it’s been around for centuries, was immediately popular with readers. I like its expressiveness and the richness of its colors, especially the red which mimics the natural red earth color often used in traditional art and craft and dating back to prehistoric cave paintings. The top mat on this matches that red color in a red earth toned suede-finish mat, again mimicking the swirls in the conte as it does in my pastels.

Sold Originals, but available as prints and more

painting of two cats

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

Above is Purple Cats, Red Blanket, felt-tip ink technical drawing pen with watercolor washes, signed and dated 1/6/12. This painting sold, and thanks to the buyer for your wonderful complements. I love to see my art go to good homes just as much as I love to see my rescued kitties go to good homes! I’m offering full-size digital prints of this, and I have a small stock of small note cards. I’ll be offering it again at Valentine’s Day as a Valentine, and also as a blank greeting card. See it here on Etsy.

oil pastel sketch of two cats

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

The original of this tiny oil pastel sketch also sold to another good home! I’m offering a print framed as the original on Etsy as well as digital prints, and I’m also looking forward to publishing this as a greeting card and in other forms as well. The 5″ x 7″ stretched canvases look nice (you’ll see), and it makes a cool little notebook cover too. We’ll see how many ways I can apply this and the other little colorful sketches. Suggestions are welcome!

Read more about Daily Sketches

Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.

See other Daily Sketches

I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

________________________

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.


Use Your Credit Card Directly on Etsy

pastel painting of cat on table

After Dinner Nap, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

As an artist it’s my business to follow my muse and create what life brings to me. Click the image above to find out why Stanley is the face of  Portraits of Animals, and why this painting was important to my career as an animal artist.

As a self-employed small business owner it is my business to give you as many options and opportunities as possible to find what I create and make a purchase once you’ve decided you want something I’ve created.

Etsy, the online handmade marketplace, has made this decidedly easier for many of us so that we can spend more time doing what we do best, making stuff with their attractive interface and easy setup of accounts, shops and product displays.

Now they’ve added a new feature which not only makes transactions easier for us, but it may make many customers happy as well—you can now purchase with a credit card directly through Etsy, no PayPal involved, no redirect to your PayPal account or extra steps, so it’s quicker for you as well.

Read more at Portraits of Animals Marketplace, including a discount for purchases in April.

________________________________

And be sure to visit my Etsy shop to see what’s currently available.

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.


Special on Green Things in My Etsy Shop Today

black cat card

"God, I'm Cute"

I may not be Irish, but while everyone knows my first name is “Bernadette”, you probably don’t know my middle name is “Eileen”. Following a name like “Bernadette Eileen” I’m sure a Polish surname like “Kazmarski” is the last thing you expect—perhaps something like O’Toole or McShane (two Irish families I grew up with). So for St. Patrick’s Day a friend has pronounced I am honorarily “Bernadette Eileen O’Kazmarski”. Goes along with my bright henna-red hair, yes? Let the celebration begin!

I love totally random sales, and looking at the gallery of things that are tagged as “green” in my Etsy shop it certainly looks that way—original artwork, greeting cards, gift bags—and not just feline-themed things but also wildlife and nature and flowers!

still life of pepper in bowl

One Pepper, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Just for St. Patrick’s Day I’ve got 10% off your entire order if you buy one of the things tagged with green in this gallery in my Etsy shop. Just use the code STPATRICKGREEN10 when you place your order.

pastel painting of a cat looking out a window

Winter Window, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski; this painting is of Kelly, click the image to read about it.

And as I mentioned, it’s not just 10% off your green item, it’s 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER if you purchase one of the items in the green gallery.

crocheted sunflower washcloths

Set of three cotton washcloths, designed and crocheted by me (and supervised by guess who).

Happy shopping! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

________________________________

Read about more of the things I create that are inspired by my cats in the category “Marketplace”.

And be sure to visit my Etsy shop to see what’s currently available.

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: A Good Scratch

cat scratching with claws

A Good Scratch, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Kelly has a really good scratch on the shelf in front of the window by my computer.You can see by her expression this is taking a lot of concentration, and by her tail that she is thoroughly enjoying it.

The shelf is just a cheap wooden thing intended for use in the kitchen, over your faucet, but it works fine here keeping kitties from sitting on my phone, adding machine and other things on my desk as they enjoy the view. It’s pretty wobbly and very well-scratched as most of them have a go at it some time or another. Kelly is a regular scratcher of the shelf, though.

Action sketches like yesterday and today are best done in pencil for me. When I’m trying to catch them in action, and catch the essentials of their action, I want a medium that is most familiar, quick and simple. Pencil is my “first and favorite” medium, as I drew with one of my mother’s yellow-painted No. 2 pencils from a very young age, and I still say that I can “think in pencil”—watch my subject and draw on the paper nearly without looking, trusting my hand to follow what my eye sees and to exert the right pressure and angle to create the best line.

________________________

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: Quick Bath

pencil sketch of cat bathing

A Quick Bath, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

It was another of those like trying to join in a jump-rope round where I watched and watched and watched to wait for a spot to jump in with Kelly’s quick little bath. She is so focused that when I called her name to distract her momentarily she just said a quick little word and continued bathing

________________________

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: Another Nap

pencil sketch of cats sleeping

Another Nap, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Well, they nap a lot, especially in a pile, especially on my desk. I had actually intended to do a little more with this but the phone rang, they got up and the day went on. No worry, there will be another day for Giuseppe, Mewsette and Jelly Bean to pose for a quick portrait.

________________________

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.


Three New Sketches Available on Etsy

conte sketch of three cats

Trzy Koty, conté crayon © B.E. Kazmarski

I’ve added three more daily sketches to my Etsy shop. The choices are based on feedback and I got quite a lot last week, so if there’s a sketch you’d like to see in my Etsy shop, please speak up!

Above is Trzy Koty, done in conte crayon on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/24/11. Cookie, Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine watch the evening fall on Christmas Eve. Sketched in red conté for the holiday. “Trzy koty” is Polish for “three cats”. Conté is a very special drawing medium, thinking of the sketches of da Vinci and Michelangelo. Not that I’m at that level, but sometimes I feel the connection as I move the conte over the paper and see what appears.

sketch of cat drinking

Cookie Has a Drink, graphite pencil and colored pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Cookie Has a Drink

This is Cookie Has a Drink, done in graphite drawing pencil and wax colored pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/20/11.

Cookie has a nice long drink many times a day, and her little shape over the water bowl is so very familiar. Because she approaches the water bowl in my studio from the same angle and even holds her tail the same way, I could do this sketch in shifts, first her outline, then her dark areas, then to reinforce the fact that she is a tortoiseshell calico I added orange and yellow colored pencil to fill the color and blue in the bowl.

And I’m so glad I have readers like you to share it with; it’s one of the problems with working at home with cats, the simply roll their eyes and go back to sleep when I ask them what they think of what I’ve done.

sketch of cat stretching

The Little Panther

The Little Panther

This is The Little Panther, done in felt-tip ink drawing pen on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/17/11.

Mimi has a good stretch on the bathroom windowsill. She is only 6.5 pounds, just a petite little girl, compared to her children and even the tortie girls, but she is sleek and black and graceful, just like a real panther.

I love the varied line quality this pen offers. It’s one of many with a brush-style tip actually shaped like a thin round paintbrush. I tend to press too hard and wear these down so I don’t get fine lines anymore, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well these pens hold up. I have them in several brands, and an illustrator friend recommended another to me. When I’m looking for this line quality in an illustration I typically use a metal crow-quill nib in an old wooden handle, much like the ones map makers used to use, and dip it into the ink of my choice to draw. I’ve always felt I had more control that way, but for quick sketches I don’t want to mess with a bottle of ink! Often I’m standing in the middle of a room and have nowhere to put anything down so I’m holding my sketchpad and all the materials I want to have at hand. I’d be wearing the ink, and so would my house.

Grape Jelly Bean, the most popular sketch yet, needs a unique frame which I have planned, and perhaps I’ll post next week.

Other sketches available

All the sketches in this post are currently available on Etsy, though you can request any I’ve done by browsing them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“.

pencil sketch of three cats

Three Cats, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

This was the first in my postings of daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of  Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe curled together on the bed. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.

pencil sketch of abstract cats

Reticulated Kitties

This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.

Read more about Daily Sketches

Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.

See other Daily Sketches

I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

________________________

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.


The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation

pencil sketch of three cats eating

Dinnertime!, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

What wonderful feedback I’ve had on my daily sketches—I am so glad I determined to renew this practice for myself and also share it here. Creating a small sketch every day may seem no big task but it can be difficult to arrange and easy to avoid in the midst of other things to do.

Above is Dinnertime! from December 7, Kelly, Mimi and Cookie enjoying dinner; morning is the usual time for sketches as warm-ups, but I had no time that day. I’ve known I wanted to get this sketch, though, because mealtime is such a special time in the lives of anyone who lives with animals. I knew I’d have a limited time since they get their bowls before the young kitties do and the three girls don’t waste any time once they get to it. I had my sketchbook and pencil on the sink and as soon as I set down the bowls for the kids I got right to the sketch.

Creating and sharing

Actually sharing the sketches with others in public is something else altogether because they are little warm-ups and often experiments with different media and therefore aren’t always my best work. It’s intimidating to share something I’m not sure about and may not like, but it’s also a challenge and I like that.

Like Three Cats in a Line from December 15, for instance. It took me a few tries to warm up so I had the control to follow my eye with my hand and create one single line without stopping or lifting my pen that approximated Mewsette, Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine. I’m actually not happy with this sketch but it was the first one where I decided I was warmed up enough and followed the line all the way through. The daily sketch also about being honest with my viewers that this is just a quick sketch done from life, not a practiced work from a still image, and I shouldn’t be cautious about experimenting a little bit now and then because the sketch may not work well. I should draw what I’m visualizing. That’s what the sketches are all about. Experiment, see how it works, and try something new as well as plain old practice in media I’ve used all my life.

line drawing of three cats

Trzy Koty (Three Cats, Polish), ink © B.E. Kazmarski

And I’m so glad I have readers like you to share it with; it’s one of the problems with working at home with cats, the simply roll their eyes and go back to sleep when I ask them what they think of what I’ve done.

But I treasure all the comments readers have given me, including one that compared me to Clare Turlay Newberry—I will sincerely try to live up to that one!

Adding to Etsy and Donating to Shelters

I have no intention of keeping all these sketches, in fact it’s my goal to distribute as many as possible as my way of encouraging the appreciation of original art done by hand, not just to own but to study. I had always sold a certain number of matted and framed sketches when I’d done them in the past (though I kept the ones most dear to me), but I’d also made them available as donation items for shelters and rescues to sell or auction to benefit animals.

Each of the sketches I’ve done is available, but I’ve been using the feedback I get on sketches to determine which ones to add to the Daily Sketches section in my shop on Etsy. You can not only purchase these, but as I donate them to my local shelters and rescues for their benefit events, you can also request one for your own shelter event by sending me a message on Etsy, as well as promotional information for the event; I will ship the chosen sketch directly to the shelter for the event, or if the event is a virtual event, I will ship directly to the winner.

sketch of cats bathing

Brotherly Bath

Above is Brotherly Bath from December 14. Giuseppe and Jelly Bean wrestle every single day at least once in the morning. I’ve been trying to catch their wrestling matches, but I’ll have to pick up some serious speed in sketching before I can capture enough to block it in and finish. But their wrestling matches always go through a session of “aggressive bathing” where they are still smacking each other and tend to tackle each other but pin the other down and lick them instead of biting. Then all wrestling sessions end up in a bath, usually Giuseppe bathing Jelly Bean, to the Bean’s obvious enjoyment.

A Last-minute Gift and Shipping Before Christmas

My shipping is based on FedEx rates because I’ve found that’s the best way to ship any artwork larger than 8″ x 10″ using their special box, and they really are the fastest. At any time of the year, I don’t want my artwork riding around in too many trucks or sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

sketch of black cat from the back

Giuseppe from the back, charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

Quite the landscape, Giuseppe From the Back from December 13, when he crouches with his hips and elbows in the air. It’s a posture I’m sure everyone who lives with a cat finds familiar.

I initially intended to sketch him facing completely away from me, but he turned his head and I liked his profile, that long  sloping forehead and regal nose.

Other sketches available

All the sketches in this post are currently available on Etsy, though you can request any I’ve done by browsing them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“.

pencil sketch of three cats

Three Cats, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

This was the first in my postings of daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of  Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe curled together on the bed. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.

pencil sketch of abstract cats

Reticulated Kitties

This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.

Read more about Daily Sketches

Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.

See other Daily Sketches

I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

________________________

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: Dinnertime!

pencil sketch of three cats eating

Dinnertime!, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

It’s Kelly, Mimi and Cookie enjoying dinner. No time for a sketch this morning, the usual time for sketches as warm-ups, but I knew I’d be gone all day, hoping I could get one later.

I knew I wanted to get this one, but also knew I’d have a limited time since they get their bowls before the young animals do and the three girls don’t waste any time once they get to it. I had my sketchbook and pencil on the sink and as soon as I set down the bowls for the kids I got right to the sketch.

This sketch is available for sale in my Etsy shop. Why this one and a few others, but not all of them? See below.

________________________

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. I don’t want to list every single one so I have to decide by my own arbitrary and subjective method if I think someone somewhere would like to buy this sketch. Some of them just look like sketches other people would like to have in their home, so those are the ones I post for sale. If you don’t see one on Etsy you’d like, send me an e-mail—it might have been sold, or I might just have just thought it wouldn’t be as appealing as another.

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.


The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches

pencil sketch of three cats

Three Cats, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

You’ve all seen my finished artwork, now here is a chance to see the underpinnings of that—the humble, simple sketch.

This is one of my daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of three of my kitties curled together on the bed. From the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.

I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day as a warm-up to my aesthetic senses. I’d fallen away from this for a while just in the busy-ness of every day, but I’ve been happily at it again consistently enough that I can post one nearly every day as well as my daily photos. Both of these activities give me the incentive to do more and different work, to experiment, to be inventive and “in the moment” with the subject and also with my ideas, something that’s rare in my daily tasks of commercial art. In addition, I can share it instead of finding these things years later in old sketch books.

steinlen book

Steinlen Cats

And I was also inspired to keep sketching cats and to share them by my copy of Steinlein Cats, a Dover large-size paperback including just pages from Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen’s sketchbooks featuring his sketches of his own cats. A few of his poster designs from before the turn of the last century are iconic, as I mentioned in a post about a photo of mine that reminded me of one of his compositions.

And rather than keep them all to myself, I’ll be selling a few of them as well. What we hang on our walls is extremely personal, but I’m a big proponent of having at least one piece of original art that was created by hand, and sketches in their simplicity offer such an intimate relationship with the artist, sharing a moment and something touched by another human. I offer the signed sketch alone for $25.00 for you to frame, and all will be fairly small and fit into a pre-made frame. I will also offer to sell it matted and also matted and framed. For examples, visit my new gallery in my Etsy shop entitled Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

And before I go on, let me explain that pencil is phenomenally difficult to photograph or scan; you may see shadings on the paper, but just the drawn lines are there. I may have to invest in a better scanner again.

pencil sketch of abstract cats

Reticulated Kitties

This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of  my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.

I had also intended to use a colored pencil, or even layers or shadings of colored pencil, but grabbed the old Ebony drawing pencil instead. That’s okay, there will be time for the other technique I’m visualizing.

I have a small pouch of art materials and a few various sized sketchbooks available in the house and out. Usually, these sketches are done in pencil, my first and favorite medium, though sometimes it’s charcoal, ink, colored pencil, ink and brush, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, the greatest challenge to keep it quick and not get caught up in details, let the idea flow onto the paper.

Most often, the subjects are my cats because they are such willing models (if they like to eat they’d better be), though sometimes I’ll also wander afield, literally, and sketch in my yard or anywhere I go for errands.

pencil sketch of cat at window

Cat At Window

This one from December 4 isn’t offered yet, partly because I’m not sure what to do with it and this is sometimes the quandary of the daily sketches. There were three cats looking out the window when I began, two left and Mewsette, who is here, moved, so I had a pile of guidelines, then went in another direction, adding in the patterned rug I have on the tabletop just as an experiment, and then also the branches outside the window. But it’s 11″ x 14″ (minus the tabbed edges on top where I pulled it from the tablet), and I just feel that’s too big. I’ve often cropped an original drawing down to the part of it I like, and in this case I like just this so it may be what I offer:

pencil sketch of cat at window

Cat at Window, cropped, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I’ve designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using other feline daily sketches and also scenes from nature. Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I’m designing. I can easily create a digital file to keep if I want to use them for production, and still sell the original for someone else to enjoy.

They are all on Etsy

You can be certain I’ll be posting my sketches here with a link to the specifi art on my Etsy site, but you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches” or by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

________________________

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.