Alice and Cheshire Cat, Illustration Friday

Alice and Cheshire Cat, 9″ x 6″
Copic markers, fine liners, white gel pen on Canson smooth Bristol

For the topic “Tree” at Illustration Friday. I started this sketch a while back but set it aside like so many other things recently. I’ve been in a weird mood I suppose and keep changing projects. But I couldn’t NOT join IF this week with a great topic like “Tree”! When I first saw the topic I thought I’d do another tree house (can never have too many) but then I decided to work on this and figured I’d make it into my entry. Which I did.

Tons of progress pics! You can see how I couldn’t decide about the background. In the end I probably should have left it that solid fuchsia. And the curlique thingers aren’t working so well here, though I am considering filling the rest of the block with them to neutralize the effect a bit. I do really like the odd cat (despite some anatomy problems) and cute girl (shoulder issue). And I’m happy with the bold color because I thought my goat entry for “Shy” was a bit anemic, color wise. Ah well, back to the drawing board!

Thanks a bunch for visiting!

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40 thoughts on “Alice and Cheshire Cat, Illustration Friday

  1. ruthsartwork

    Love the cat. He looks properly sneaky and sly. Alice’s shoulders aren’t distracting and actually, I like the combination of the curliques and the mushrooms. The change of density sets up a kind of perspective for it.

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      Thanks for all the nice comments!

      Ruth, I hoped someone would chime in about the background. I’ve come to accept it, I think, though I would still do it differently next time. The trouble is I didn’t plan it from the beginning (which I do a lot, and probably shouldn’t!)

  2. Gay McKinnon

    Hurrah! Love that cat … what an ominous grin. Shoulder issue? I sympathise with Alice. I think what ties this all together so beautifully is the repetition of the little white circles on the cat, Alice’s frill, and especially those far Amanita mushrooms. Um, can I use that?

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      I’m not sure what you want to use! Some version of Amanita mushrooms in the background of something? I suspect our styles are sufficiently different so that you can do whatever you like. :)

  3. linda (dots n doodles)

    Wowee! This is fabulous. I love how the tree is part and yet not part of the picture. Great mushrooms as well as all the detail on the tree. Super cat. The whole picture just works so well I think.

  4. clara nilles

    NICE! Love this one……a series on Alice in Wonderland would be wonderful. Love the cropped background that offsets the tree….sharp contrasting colors……and trademark textures of the tree bark, cat, and mushrooms.

  5. Traci Bixby

    Wow! I am so impressed and amazed. The colors you capture in your work are so bright and mesmerizing. I really like your drawing style too. The two together are just beautiful!

  6. Richard Ewing

    This cat in particular is the perfect subject for your style, in fact the whole of the Alice books would be a good challenge for you to tackle…
    any chance?


  7. The Beast Tender Post author

    Thanks so much guys!

    Richard, I think it’s a great subject! But it seems to be oversaturated in the art world these days. In the illustration world, I suppose would be more accurate.

    I actually only started this one because I thought it was on the preference list of my partner in a secret swap I am doing. But it turns out I read the wrong list. Which is hilarious, really. But I did enjoy doing it which is why I decided to finish it for IF. :D

  8. The Beast Tender Post author

    Nora, it totally does look like a hat! But it was supposed to be a headband, and then the top of her head and tip of her nose. But I don’t do humans a lot, even tiny cartoonish ones, and I need a lot of practice!

  9. Rita

    Oh Cindy, I was so glad to see your comment today because I was just thinking about you…I have not been doing IF as much lately and missed seeing your beautiful art. I LOVE this one…we were just at Disneyland and my daughter picked out a stuffed Cheshire Cat to take home.

  10. Ana M.F.

    The Cheshire cat looks beautiful and dangerous! I like that because you use vibrant colors but still keep the dark essence of Wonderland.
    It would be great to see a series on Alice’s adventures :)

  11. Laura Parkhurst

    Cindy I like your background. As the curlyques get lower to the horizon, they create the horizon which adds depth to the picture. You have such a wonderful feel for using patterns that make your illustrations so rich and interesting. Love seeing your work.

  12. Creations By Mit

    Love this one, Cindy! The detail on the tree trunk is just gorgeous! And I love Alice! She certainly looks small & lost! And the cat has that manic, bizarre look that is just so Alice in Wonderland! Nicely done!

  13. Koosje

    Gorgeous illustration. The cat ia quite a character, it’s great! And i love that flower-patterned tree. I think the curls in the backgrounddo work! It helps to emphasize the weirdness of alice in wonderland. And this way it looks like those are ‘magic mushrooms’, growing there!

  14. Leslie White

    Hi Cindy,
    This is one of my favorites, already. I like the shoulder issue with the little girl. It really enhances the idea of a “little” girl. The cat is superb. Weird as that Cheshire cat was, I was always intrigued by him.
    This is my opinion and my opinion, only. I think the curlique thingies actually enhance the depth in this piece. If that area was just all one color, it would flatten it. Also, “Wonderland” was a very strange place and I can grasp curlique thingies in “Wonderland”. :)

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      Thanks Leslie! What I should have done is frisket swirls for the background, but my frisket has gone funky and I need to get more so I haven’t used any in ages. I think you’re right that a solid background would have been too flat, which is probably why I felt the need to fill it with stuff.

  15. Bella Sinclair

    OOOOOOOOH! Love, love, love, love! I love all things Alice in Wonderland, and this is spectacular! The colors pop, and I love the block of fuscia. Cat is way cool. Crazy-good stuff!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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