Tag Archives: cat art

Lars, A Seeing Eye Cat for Illustration Friday

Seeing Eye Cat, 8.5 x 11, Copic Markers

This portrait was found in the attic of an elderly pair of gnome sisters, Margaret and Maybelle, who passed away together at the ages of 76 and 83, asleep in front of the television. The cat, an Oriental Shorthair named Lars, once belonged to their Grandfather Golly, a gift from his daughter (their mother) when his eyes began to fail. The sisters never met Lars but they heard many fantastical tales from their mother, who insisted he was the only seeing-eye cat in seventeen counties.

Lars was not particularly great at the job, being a cat. In fact, the harness is likely the result of artistic license as Lars was apparently only convinced to wear it once and with far less aplomb than is on display here. But even without the harness he was very protective of Golly and the two were quite popular about town.

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This is my submission to Illustration Friday for the topic “Sight”. In an attempt to go to sleep before midnight I am going to end things here. Please feel free to ask any questions below (or leave comments or chocolates). Thanks so much for visiting!


Teacup Carriage for IF Hitched

Teacup Carriage with Blue Cat, Copics with Digital Blues 8" x10"

Teacup carriage with lemon slice wheels, teaspoon axle and tea tin sitting compartment. The cat is a huge Cairo Blue belonging to the owner of the carriage. Her name is Lucy and she is on guard while the owner naps within.

This illustration is entered for the topic Hitched at Illustration Friday. Unfortunately, I was unable to ask the owner to get the carriage hitched up before he went in for his nap, so this will have to do. In any case Diego, the red mule who normally pulls the carriage, is on the far side of the property and in a foul mood this morning.

In other news, I finally got a slideshow widget! It’s called Portfolio Slideshow (for WordPress), from madefromraygun.com. You can hit play or just click through the images. (Would love to know what you think of it-)

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Thanks to the very brilliant Richard Ewing at Visual Cogitations, I was recently reminded about the importance of sketching. I started out thinking I would do a carriage-type vehicle in the style of my Cat Ship and Llama Genie Airship, which led to the first sketch, a guinea pig carriage. That didn’t work out but did lead to a teacup-shaped carriage. The third sketch is a small version and the final three sketches show the beginning of the final image.

I decided it needed an animal so perched a cat in the driver’s seat, but I was unhappy with the cat and eventually digitally changed her face and color. The final image in the slideshow shows the carriage with no cat at all because she was getting absolutely bored waiting for me to finish. I like the blue cat so that is the final version at the top of this post.

So tell me if you have a moment, was this post too long and terribly wordy? Did you like the slideshow? Thanks so much for dropping in!

Cat Ship for Monday Artday

Flagship Nepeta Cataria, Copics with Digital Background

And so it was at Monday Artday that the bi-weekly word was “Flood”. I thought I would do a ship prepared for a flood. And then I started murmuring “cat ship” under my breath. And it sounded like catsup (also ketchup), but I did not care. I was going to put a crew of dogs on the cat ship, but in the end of course it was a cat ship. For cats, man.

It started with a cat.

Cat Sketch for Cat Ship

I did look at many cat and ship photos, but used no particular photo extensively. Along the way, these happened:

Cat Ship Sketches 2 & 3

Cat Ship Inked, Cat Ship Frisket

Cat Ship Progress, 3 & 4

Cat Ship Progress, 5 & 6

I could have stopped here. I thought about it. I’m not sure I have a handle yet on when to stop adding stuff. I think this is a common problem among artists, even ones much more experienced than me (of which there are many)! This may suggest I need to do some minimalist type beasts. (Perhaps a platypus, as suggested by Gay McKinnon!) Who knows what might happen!

Cat Ship Color, 7 & 8

I messed around with a lot of backgrounds before settling on, uh, more digital clouds. I need a new bag of tricks! Or maybe just one new trick. No, actually I am really pleased with the texture and color of the clouds in the final version. But I am a tad irritated they are digital and not Copic. Alas! I hope you enjoyed your tidbit of ancient cat history. Thank you so much for taking a peek!

Miscalculation Leads to Llama-Cat, Copic Markers

Miscalculation Leads to Llama Cat, 8×10 Copic Markers

Miscalculation, for my second Monday Artday submission. My main regret with this is that I didn’t take the time to create some eye contact or other communication between Figgy and the Llama-Cat. Also, maybe there should be some indication of magic at the end of the wand. (I added some silly sparks digitally in a version at the end of this post.)

Figgy was captured here in a bit of a state of shock right after the event. You might expect the same of the Llama-Cat, but she didn’t seem very bothered. Of course it’s several months since the events pictured above, and the two are (usually) great friends, sharing a love of buttered croissants. Also repeated viewings of Milo and Otis.

Many work in progress pics:

Llama Cat Sketch


Llama Cat Ink

Llama Cat Color 1

Instead of my usual swirls, I kept the masquepen down the whole time and did messier swirls. I don’t love it as much as the kind with the curly-q ends but I am trying to expand my toolkit!

Llama Cat Color 2

Yes, this is the point where I say yack! These colors are not working! Mainly the clownish blue and green stripes on the robe. But I have learned to stay the course through these stages.

Llama Cat Color 3

Llama Cat Detail 1

Llama Cat Detail 2

Llama Cat Detail 3

Llama-Cat with Digital Sparks!

This was fun. More full figures (rather than heads only), a different color palette (for me), and some general silliness. Thanks for dropping in!

A Llama for Sven, Copic Markers with Liquid Frisket

A Llama for Sven, Copic Markers using Frisket

The complications of llama ownership weighed heavily on Sven the cat, who had been up much of the previous night trying to convince the llama that she did not belong on the bed. Or, failing that, at least not to rest her head on poor Sven. Liam the dog, Sven’s best friend and housemate, was not much bothered by the ruckus, as he is a heavy sleeper and prefers his kingly brocade cushion bed to the platform bed.

Why did you want a llama, again? asked Liam.

Sven scowled darkly at the dog. Then he glanced over at the llama and couldn’t help but smile. “Look at her. She’s so cute! And one day she’ll let me ride on her head. And we will conquer the world!” He sighed. “I do wish she was, you know, a bit quicker. About stuff.”

Liam rolled his eyes and went make a sandwich.

Before you ask, Sven is a softie so there is no way he is going to leave the llama outside. The llama he hasn’t named yet, I might add, though he’s leaning toward Doris. It all started here:

Llama for Sven Ink

Llama for Sven Frisket

Llama for Sven Color 1


Llama for Sven Color 2

A Llama for Sven, Copic Markers using Frisket

So what seems to happen, with these non-Illustration Friday illustrations, is that I pick an animal to draw (lately dogs, llamas, cats, sheep, goats, cows, mainly). Once he or she is done, I decide what other animal wants to be in the frame, too. And then another, if there’s room. And from there,a relationship becomes clear. Which is how I knew that poor Sven, the terribly weary-looking cat, had been up all night trying to take care of his new llama. And that Liam with the just slightly exasperated face, was not in favor of the llama particularly but you know, as long as he didn’t have to feed it or walk it.

Hello! Thank you for coming!




Copics and Liquid Frisket, Revisited

Blue Dog with Cat, 8.5" x 11" Copic Pens & Markers

More dog and cat beasts! You may recognize the hound/spaniel face from a recent series of ACEOs. This one reminded me why going to the edge of the paper on all sides is sub-optimal (it’s a pain! And the pen runs off, and making swirls along the edges is also a pain). I have a lot of practice ahead of me if I’m going to perfect a cat. However, this cat is a MUCH better cat than the one I started with:

Blue Dog Cat Sketch 1

The face gave me no end of trouble. In fact, my intention was going to be for the cat to be rubbing his head under Blue’s chin, but things got out of hand.  Sometimes that happens.

Blue Dog Cat Sketch 2

That’s better. Fixed the short stubby legs and went with a bent neck. I created several ounces of eraser detritus to get to this point.

Blue Dog Cat Initial Ink

This cat will do! (Need to practice paws. And apparently cat butts. This cat butt is just not right.)

Blue Dog Cat - Frisket, Color 1

Swirls in liquid frisket on the ears. It was supposed to go all the way down but I tried to remove some thickly dropped frisket and it pulled up more bits and then more so I just cleared it off the bottom of the second ear, too. The colors always look pretty rotten at the beginning and there is no exception in this case (mostly because it looks so much like markers).

Blue Dog Cat Color 2

Blue Dog Cat Color 3

Blue Dog with Cat, Copic Pens & Markers

In all, a decent exercise. Learned some things. I suppose my goal is to get to the point where my drawing tells a story, like Mardi Speth or Bella Sinclair.  Or any other of the thousands of awesome illustrators out there (yeesh). I don’t want my stuff to look like their stuff, just tell a (cool, interesting, possibly weird) story like their stuff does.

Enough rambling!  Thank you so much for coming by!


That’s One Popular Sheep Cart

The Most Popular Sheep Cart, Copic Markers with Digital Sky

This week’s Illustration Friday topic: “Popularity”. I really had no idea what to draw, for a while, and then I decided that two competing little kiosks might be nice, with competing salespeople. And maybe the popularity of one had to do with the pretty girl running it, and for the other, the quality of the product. But sheesh, that’s a lot to get into a single frame. At least for me who hasn’t done a lot of narrative drawings.

I started to draw the kiosks, but that was more complicated than necessary and I switched to little sales carts.

Toy Carts Initial Sketch

Rather than plain little carts, of course I figured they should in the shape of animals. Goats or sheep, perhaps. As I drew them I decided they would be very different kinds of carts, and one would be more popular than the other.  I picked toys because a little anime style cat could be seriously cute and I was thinking zombies for the other cart but went with misfit monsters.

Toy Carts Inked

I wanted to add more things, but I was worried about clutter. So, no little sales tags, no “50% Discount Sale” sign for the monster cart and no salespeople. Not even any customers! So I tried to figure out a slogan or saying that would tell the story I was trying to tell.

Toy Carts Color 1

Toy Carts Color 2

Sheep Carts Original Drawing 8.5" x 11"

The Most Popular Sheep Cart, Copics w/ Digital Sky

Thank you as always for coming by and thanks to everyone for the kind and excellent comments.

Which reminds me!  A very kind and hilarious person at Moonsword’s Chamber has done a little write-up about my shop. He showcases a lot of different artists and I found some really cool ones there, so take a gander if you have a moment!


Copics and Liquid Frisket, Experiment No. 1

Kit Cat and Elliot Hound in Copic Markers

OMG. Seriously. My internet connection was down for three days. A terribly sad state of affairs, I’ll have you know. Yes, I read a book. And finished several drawings, among them the charismatic pair above. (Actually, I don’t know if “finished” is accurate, but close enough.)

An adventure with liquid frisket, is what it was! Many progress pics – scans in fact, with my CanoScan LiDE 700F, if you were wondering – shall illustrate the tale:

Dog Cat Sketch

I have been enjoying a recent enthusiasm for goofy, cartoony dogs. And I have also been trying to add more cats, because people like cats. I like cats, just not as much as dogs. She looks a little sad in this sketch. Perhaps you’ve noticed my clever placement wherein I was not forced to wrestle with drawing paws or legs. But I rather think she looks cute perched up there.

Dog Cat Ink

Dog Cat Color 1

Dog Cat Color 2

Dog Cat Color 3

Starting to show some life with a .5 Copic multiliner outline. The eyes are a tad vacant, which is something I need to work on.

Dog Cat Frisket 1

Ok, the frisket! It is a latex masking medium. So you paint it on, and then paint (or in my case, Copic marker) over it. In the first frisket shot above, I applied a curlique background of frisket, let it dry, then lightly covered the area in one color (Begonia, I believe). I should also note that the frisket dried to virtual invisibility but I could just gauge the shine of it. I decided not to fill the entire background (partly because that’s a LOT of background left).

Dog Cat Frisket 2

While the frisket was still on, I figured I should take advantage of some Copic color blending just around the bodies.

Dog Cat Frisket 3

And then, ta-da! Peeled it off. Note: The best pick up to use is a natural rubber pick-up. The clerk at Dick Blick’s was kind enough to let me know when he saw my frisket purchase. And it did work great, and was kind of cool. It comes right up, and can even be peeled. I didn’t scan it right after I peeled it off, but it was white as untouched paper below.  I decided to go over the whole background area with some very light peach and pink.

Kit Cat and Elliot Hound in Copic Markers

The final needed heavier lines, so I used my Copic black marker with the pen tip (as opposed to a multiliner), mainly just for the outside outline for both. Added a few more bits and bobs, not sure if it’s done, but there you have it!  Thank you for visiting! Let me know if you have any questions about these things.  Oh, and a special shout out to art blogger Leslie White whose lovely paintings employing liquid frisket inspired me to try it. Hooray!


Art Blog Interview and Colorful Copic Cats

I would like to take a moment to thank a lovely person named Alex Colombo at Tales for Creative Minds, who posted an interview feature about me and my herd of beasts. It is quite an honor and I can’t thank her enough. As I’m sure you know, every little bit of encouragement helps! And the presentation of the interview is really wonderful so hopefully some of you kind people will go take a peek.

You may have seen my herd of ACEO dogs on these pages recently. I decided to take a break from the dogs and have at some cats. The first is sort of accidentally a raccoon cat (yeah, didn’t quite mean to lay on the eyeliner so thickly), and the second is a kind of circus fox cat, as follows:

Raccoon Cat 2.5" x 3.5" in Copics

Wallace the Circus Cat, in Copics

I attempted some whiskers (and eye reflection) with a white gel pen, but it seems to clog to easily and not provide a consistent line. I might have to look into a paint pen, because often the ability to make a small correction or add a white detail is very handy. If you have any tips for using a gel pen, do tell! (Oh yes, and I do have some liquid frisket but haven’t braved it yet!)

Raccoon Cat is very mysterious and refuses to 1. provide an actual name, or 2. engage in any kind of pleasant conversation whatsoever. Fortunately her brother (yes I know, they don’t look the least bit related!), is much more genial and talkative. His name is Wallace, he loves Muenster cheese wedges (both for eating and juggling) and he is not allowed to tell me his sister’s name.  Just one of those things, I suppose. He is not actually in the circus but please contact him if you happen to know of an outfit that could use a juggling cat.

The progress of Wallace, the Circus Fox Cat:

Circus Cat Sketch

Circus Cat Ink

Circus Cat Color 1

Circus Cat Color 2




Phil the Cat

You may remember Phil, my previous ACEO cat. He still lives with Chaz (a llama) and Dean (a goat), and he asked to be introduced to the newcomers so I thought I would let him wander into this post as well.  Thank you for visiting!

Illustration Friday “Forward” & Pink Cat Beasts

Forward Isn't Always

I posted this last night but kept thinking the black background was too severe. This morning I made version 2 (with slightly different wording):

Forward Isn't Always, v. 2

I had been meaning to do both cats and whole animal bodies for a change. I was a bit stumped by “forward” at Illustration Friday, but finally figured a stalking cat would be a good challenge. I had trouble with it! In fact, I almost scrapped it at several points.

In the end, I am sort of pleased with this poster-type slogan thing I came up with. The quote went through a lot of re-writes before I settled on this one. (Another option would be about trying to go in too many directions at once.) (Also I’m not positive about the grammar! But I don’t mind.) The font is UglyQua, which reminds me a bit of the font Edward Gorey often used. It might also be overused but I am not a font expert so I don’t know and I certainly hope it doesn’t offend any snotty super nice design people.  (click on image for a better look!)

I didn’t set out to do a double cat beast, but I was not happy with the original background so had to change my plans mid-flight (which often leads to better places). I was going to do a striped wallpaper wall and an oval rug beneath the (single) cat beast. When that didn’t work, I pulled the cat beast out of the page with Paint.NET, made a double by flipping him, and added the background and text digitally. Not 100% happy with the patterns on him but I was experimenting and that doesn’t always work out! Some progress pics:

Stalking Cat Beast Sketch 1

Stalking Cat Beast Sketch 2

Stalking Cat Beast Copic Color 1

Stalking Pink Cat Beast, Copics with Digital Background