100 Face Challenge: Kitty Face! (#1)

Happy New Year, everyone!

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Starting the year off with a challenging 3/4 view of a friend’s Tonkinese boy kitty, Toru. He’s a youngster with beautiful markings. It was much tougher than I thought it’d be to get his proportions right, and I wound up taking help from a ruler to get the features placed. It took about 2.5 hours just to get this sketch down (because I first tried without the ruler and did lots of erasing, lol). This was done with a standard 2B graphite pencil in my Strathmore mixed media journal.

I’m finding animals challenging, but cats in particular. Dogs seem to be easier, and not sure why, as I’ve owned cats most of my life. I love the soulful eyes of a dog. I could probably draw eyes of all kinds forever and never tire of it, and dog eyes are probably my favorite.

EDIT:  Speaking of drawing animals, I can suggest a book that helped me out a lot.    It’s called “The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Animals:  How to Draw Cats, Dogs, and other Favorite Pets” by J. C. Amberlyn.  I’ve read other books by this author too, and she’s really a terrific artist and teacher.    She devotes a chapter to each animal and breaks them down feature by feature, which I really found helpful.   Here is an Amazon link to it, and my library had the book as well, so that may be an option too!

I’d love to eventually paint Toru in watercolor. His fur contains lovely shades of brown and his eyes are the most beautiful crystal blue you’ve ever seen. He’s a doll! Actually, not sure how I’d mix the blue in his eyes!

Wishing everyone a peaceful, happy and healthy 2016!   Thanks for all of your visits and support!

80 thoughts on “100 Face Challenge: Kitty Face! (#1)

  1. Toru is beautiful Laura! You can tell he is a youngster, and you have so captured his curiosity and character in his eyes. Yippee Yay for #1 of 2016! I am so excited I could burst to watch the drawings and numbers grow! Happy New Year Laura! Hugs!

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  2. Hi Laura, you have jumped in with both feet for the 100 challenge. What I like about your drawing is the simplicity. You have captured a moment in time with an expression of a curious cat. Enjoy your process! ✍

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    1. Yay, Nexi! Are they on your blog? If so could you post a link? Or feel free to send photos to createarteveryday@comcast(dot)net. I’d love to see them. The closer shot of the head, the better, (but I should practice cat figures as well). Black cats are very tough for me right now but I’m willing to try most anything else.

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        1. Awesome! I soooo hope they’re not black. I’m having trouble with black cats and dogs at this point. I do hope to progress past that, though! I’d love to see your photos. 💛💛💛 Getting a good photo to work from is at least half the battle, for me, at least.

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                1. Hey Kathy, do you have any photos of any of their faces in lighting that would allow me to see both eyes clearly? I’d really like to work on black animals so I could improve them. The photo is key, though, as their features are so hard to see. If anyone would have a good photo, it’s you!

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                  1. I am ashamed to admit that I rarely take pictures of my pets (or my family!). Maybe I’ll try and get some photos other than birds this year! And if I capture one with both eyes clear I will pass it along! 🙂

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                    1. Lol, sounds great! I think you’re wise to have a focus. It’s taken me this long to realize that I want to focus on faces!! I still haven’t narrowed it down to what type of face (and don’t even get me started on mediums)!

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    1. Thanks, Charlie! I think he’s still growing into his ears lol, which may have made it more tough. I don’t know but woo. Most of my drawings are an hour or less, this one took nearly three hours. I was amazed how out of whack I had the proportions down initially. (And I’ve drawn this cat many times lol.)

      How would you mix the eyes of a Siamese cat, Charlie? I was thinking of asking you. I have no clue. Maybe a really watered down phthalo blue? (He’s half Siamese and half Burmese but his eyes are Siamese all the way.)

      Glad to hear you also think cats are challenging. I seem to have an easier time with photos of Penny, but I’ve drawn her so many times. Why are dogs easier with their longer hair?! I don’t get it but they are. Noses though. Dog noses are very tough, IMO.

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      1. Hehe…dog nose have more perspective which is why I think they’re tougher but why I like them more. I love depth!! As for Siamese cat eyes…I would go for the drama with a little watered down cobalt blue or cobalt teal for the background and then Ultramarine Blue with a touch of Dioxazine Purple coming out just a bit from a super black Neutral Tint pupil! Hehe (saving two dots of white for life and sparkle of course…or screwing it up and not saving them and dotting them with white gouache after which works just fine for me 😊hehe)

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        1. Wow, nice recipe! Thanks! I still struggle with perspective. Cat noses have it too but I agree with you; I think dogs have more. (And having owned cats, I’ve spent lots more time studying them.) You are really good at perspective; I still remember how great your buildings were! It’s much harder for me to draw a book on a table in front of me than it is to draw a face. It is just so far beyond me lol. I found a really great book about it but it just doesn’t call me now. Maybe I could take a class in it?

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          1. Philippe and I recently took a Crafsty course that was awesome called Perspective for Sketchers by Stephanie Bower. Really good tips! Also, Shari Blaukopf’s latest class is awesome as well! I don’t know why I haven’t gotten back to buildings yet…hehe… just got enamored with animals and objects 😊😊

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  3. Hi…I just found your blob and joined. Faces…lots of challenge there…I committed myself to painting my own old face each day for a full year! Little did I know what I was getting into, but let’s see…today’s ‘selfie’ will #314, so in less than two months I will complete my personal challenge. I love that you write about what you are doing. I leave only a short comment under most selfies on my blog. I will be watching for your next posting and hope you will visit me someday… Judysarmchairjounal.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks, Judy; I appreciate that! Wow, that is quite a challenge you’ve set for yourself, I’ll have to check it out! I tend to shy away from the selfies. I’d much rather draw someone else. I’ve tried my hands, feet, eye and lips but wouldn’t think about trying to put them together at this point lol. Good for you for taking that challenge on! Are you gonna stay with it for next year, or try something different?

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      1. Hi Laura, thank you so much for dropping in. I am not sure yet about continuing with the selfies. There are two online classes I am toying with the thought of taking…but which one…hmmm. I seldom watch any evening TV, as I am painting on my iPad. But I need to haul out paints, pens, etc. and get messy!

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  4. Toru is beautiful Laura! 😍 Well done! The eyes and nose are expertly drawn! Did you learn how to draw cats from practicing or look at a video/book to learn how? Very impressive my friend! 🐱🎨❤️

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    1. Aw, thanks, Jill! Actually I did get some help from a book, now you mention it, and will go back and edit my post. It’s one I checked out long ago, but since my library offers 20 renewals, I still have it lol. She breaks down different animals and their features. It’s helped me way more with dogs though because I thought I was already pretty familiar with cats, having owned them for many years. Toru I think may have been more difficult because of his breed and the fact he’s so young, neither of which have I practiced in cats. I’ve just drawn Penny many times mostly. Prancer was black like your Jack. For now, he is too tough for me to really get anywhere with, at least from the photos I have, but if you felt like trying to get a photo of Jack in good light where I could see his features, I’d love to give him a try. It’s so hard seeing the features in black cat photos – for me at least. I’m really glad you like this! I think without the ruler, it’d have been nearly impossible for me right now to get this drawing even close. I’m gonna go back and add a link to that book now. You may have it lol! 💛💛💛💛💛

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      1. Thanks Laura for including the name of the book in your post! I now have it on order. 😄 Also, I found a book at Michaels on drawing faces – “Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces” by Carrie Stuart Parks. I really like it but haven’t used it much yet. You probably could write your own book because your faces are so good that you draw. 😊 I started taking online drawing classes to learn how to draw faces better but got discouraged. I’m hoping this book will help me. But I’m like you I tend to get distracted. I have so many art mediums I want to try! Lol! 🎨💖

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        1. You’re welcome, Jill, and I know the feeling! I think you’ll really love the book. I have another post somewhere with a bunch of animal noses in it and it came straight from that book. I just started drawing her sketches. I find it really helps me to do that. Thanks for your sweet encouragement. I’d love to write a book someday but I’m not sure I’d ever be good enough to write an art one. It would be so cool though and I bet you could! You’ve tried just about everything and have tons of knowledge to share. I think the thing that’s helped my drawing the most is drawing daily, which I started sometime around June last year and the polychromos pencils. I think pairing them with a slightly toothy paper and using a very light touch, focusing not on line but on shade, those are the tips I would offer, for what they’re worth. The author you mentioned has also written books on drawing animals, and I believe artist network tv has her videos as well (which I believe are also available for purchase from north light books and probably Amazon too). There are so many good artists out there, and so many techniques to try. Thanks again for the encouragement, Jill!

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          1. This is one of my goals this year is to keep a daily sketchbook. 😊 Funny, I am going to write about it in tomorrow’s post! And I’d like to write a book some day on art – another goal! Lol! 😍

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    1. My girl just passed in September and my boy cat the May of ’14. 😦 I have tons of photos of both of them but finding black cats and dogs very tough! I think this one was harder because he’s young. His ears are huge, way larger than I thought they’d be, considering the size of his face. Glad you like it, Zoya! I appreciate your encouragement!

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      1. Oh 😦 Will you get more cats? I used to love sketching cats as a kid. I haven’t sketched many animals lately and really should try to find some willing subjects. I think you did really well in your sketch, because he does look like a young cat. Funny how drawing makes us pay attention to various details that we totally miss otherwise.

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        1. We’ve not ruled it out, but it’ll be awhile, I think. Glad you enjoyed the drawing! I do think we see things we missed before, for sure. Having cats didn’t make the job of sketching them much easier for me – unless I could get them sleeping. I do have lots of photos though. Prancer, our boy cat, was all black, and I’m still working on rendering black animals. Very tough unless the photo is really great!

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  5. Laura – post ‘top cat’ up; not quite as suitable as I’d hoped, but it’s made a nice post. Think I’d deliberately aim for a close up photo from scratch for something like this, but if any are any use, you’re welcome!

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  6. He is great Laura, I also find cats hard to draw, paint…. No idea why they are harder than dogs? And owning 5 fur balls, I really should have studied them enough??? Baffling, still my challenge this year is to practice the cats in painting, rather than putting off the challenge. Well I think your sketch has caught this little beauty, really well, such a lovely breed. I do love the slinkier oriental type…..somehow I have 3 long haired,?? Two short hair ( four ginger ninjas, with one black diva…)

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  7. Happy new year to you too, Laura! Love your new challenge and it´s so nice to see you back in action here on WP!!! 😊 You´re portraits are all really good, you´ve made an amazing progress! Have a wonderful weekend from tomorrow!!! ❤️

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