100 Face Challenge: Snowy cat! (#2 & #3)

Nexi at Time Nexus is an amazing photographer here on WP, and she posted a link for me yesterday featuring lots of great cat photos. One cat in particular really drew me – I’m guessing its name is Snowy, but Nexi will let me know if I need to change it.

0102 prelim

I started with a preliminary sketch in graphite (a B pencil) in a drawing journal. This is a Canson sketchbook called Universal Sketch. The paper barely has any tooth and is lightweight (65 lb.). (Don’t let that number fool you though, because it’ll even take a light watercolor wash!) Kirk at Dumb Sketch Daily recommended it to me, and it really is great. There are 100 pages and it’s like $3.50 at Blick. You can’t beat it. It’s given me the incentive I needed to really draw, draw, draw. I bought some expensive sketchbooks when I was just starting out – there are a couple I still haven’t used at all yet! They can be a little intimidating when you’re afraid of wrecking them! I find this Canson book to be perfect, because I won’t hesitate to just pick it up and draw something – even if I think I’m taking on something way too challenging and headed for a drawing fail. But I digress!

I was pretty happy with the initial quick sketch, so I switched to pen and moved over to the journal I use for my daily sketching. The mixed media journal has a fairly rough/toothy surface. So if I were going for a very finished look and wanted to do a really detailed pen study, I probably would have chosen a different paper entirely, something like a smooth Bristol. But in this case, I wasn’t sure at all how it would turn out in pen, so I just went for it. I used to be really afraid of drawing in pen, but I find two things really helpful: 1) a very light touch saves the day (and for me, that’s with most any medium) and 2) a very fine nib goes a long way to help you hide mistakes that inevitably crop up.

0102 sketch

I put this Copic drawing pen on my Christmas list, and one of the artists at Blick was kind enough to send me a free sample of the refillable one as well. (Have I mentioned I just love Blick?!)  Anyway, these pens are golden. The tip on this one is very fine, measuring just 0.05 mm.   The smallest I had discovered prior was the Micron 005, which measures at 0.20 mm, so this gives you a much finer line, perfect for animal fur.   (These pens also come in a 0.03 mm size, even smaller!)   Needless to say, I’ve ordered a set of the refillable Copic pens, because I’m finding neither the Micron nor the Pitt pens last as long as it seems they should.   They are more expensive initially, but I expect to save lots of money in the long run, as the nib and ink can both be replaced/refilled.

After the ink sketch was done, I went back in with several shades of Polychromos colored pencils to add some color in the eye and nose areas.    What a beautiful white cat!    He/she really was a joy to draw, and I want to thank Nexi once again for posting those terrific cat photos.    Tune in tomorrow, you never know what I’ll be cooking up next.    Peace and Happy Weekend to all!

 

67 thoughts on “100 Face Challenge: Snowy cat! (#2 & #3)

  1. You’ve really got it – especially the slightly disapproving scowl when I shoo it off the turkey bits! Thanks for the link, and all the best with the rest of the series…! Snowy is a nickname – a lot of people locally have cats that roam freely looking for red kite leftovers.

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    1. Lol thanks Nexi! I’m glad you’re seeing Snowy there. He/she was fun to draw! I’ve always loved white cats. Thanks again for your cat post! I’m on the lookout for any and all faces, really anything with two eyes and a mouth counts, so let me know if you’d like me to take a look at anything else. I may also try another cat from your post who also really drew me. Not sure of the name but it was lying down and was mostly brown with stripes.

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      1. Heh heh – after a number of false starts (and false blogs) I’m taking the plunge with a drawing blog, so some crossing over of ideas/pics might be possible. My photo archive is heavily weighted to landscape, so I’m not a lot of use for good, useable portrait shots – apart from a few statues, maybe…but I’ll keep my eyes open. Will message when I get the the new blog up and running. Sure other bloggers would be willing to oblige!

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  2. Such great info Laura! You are becoming so seasoned! This sketch is gorgeous! I love how the focus is totally on the eyes and they are so penetrating. Absolutely stunning. You have so found your niche. Rock on sista! Love it!!!! 💜

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    1. Awww thanks so much Jodi! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I felt like it really needed that touch of color, and as you know, I love eyes!!! Wow, I was working off a fabulous closeup last night of a cat’s face, and the eye detail was incredible in the shot. Do you think Charlie would let you get a shot where I could really see one or both of his eyes? But don’t go to any trouble – I didn’t know if maybe you already have something in your inventory that might work?

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  3. I’ll second and third everyone about the eyes. The eyes in any face are the focus for me.
    I know what you mean about “good” paper too. But what are we saving it for? Interesting that you like a smooth surface for pens. I like roughness to my paper, always, although I do use Bristol for collage.
    I like that you are not shying away from what you find difficult too. (K)

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    1. Thanks, Kerfe. I think I’m saving those books for when I perceive that I’ve “improved”. The paper is soooo thick! So there aren’t many pages. It feels like only real art belongs in it lol. I will use good watercolor paper now, even though I didn’t for a long time, but breaking into that hard bound book and wrecking it….just doesn’t appeal lol. And there’s another one too but it’s spiral bound with large paper. I still haven’t got beyond 8.5 by 5.5. I agree though with what you’re saying. It’s just putting it into practice that’s hard! I think the more expensive it is, the less likely I am to use it. That’s why I love those Canson books so much. And they’ve really helped me to improve my drawing. But it’s not the surface or the weight of the paper, it’s just the fact that it’s so cheap that I don’t mind picking it up and trying something, even if I feel sure it’ll bomb. I always appreciate your comments.

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      1. So true. I’m more adventurous with collage, but I’ve only done 2 paintings so far in the Moleskine book Nina gave me. Single sheets of nice paper seem easier to plunge into for some reason…it’s so hard to predict what will be successful for me though, I should just take the chance.

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  4. Love the ink sketch and a very good write up on your materials. A few years back I got a stack of nice sketchbooks and I felt the same way. Too scared to use them and found a Canson Mixed Media to use. Now I am using up those nice sketchbooks and am wondering why I got them. I have since discovered size and paper is important. Enjoying following your journey with faces.

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    1. Thanks, Carmel! Isn’t it amazing what we convince ourselves that we need? I’m just beginning to understand what the surface really does. I could have done this same sketch with a number 2 pencil on copy paper and I wouldn’t have even wanted to post it. But at the same time, the most expensive paper doesn’t always mean we’ll get great results and if we never use it, it’s definitely no good. I’m glad you’re using those books up. Is the Canson MM your favorite for sketching now? Is this where you prefer to do your watercolor sketching too?

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      1. Laura, no the Canson XL mixed is not my favorite. I do have a Canson Watercolor Montval to try. I am still searching for my favorite. At the moment I am in a Strathmore watercolor sketchbook. One of those fancy ones with a black cover which has come apart!! My favorite at the moment is Strathmore mixed media 500 series. However, we are driven to keep trying what is out there. I have also have some cold press easy block Fluid paper to try from Dick Blick.

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        1. Sounds good, Carmel, and I agree that trying different papers is really important. You don’t like a spiral format, do you? Because if I’m not mistaken, the Strathmore visual journal in the mixed media format is actually their 500 series cotton paper. Which really shocked me because of the price, but the binding doesn’t appeal to everyone, for sure. I do love that paper, because I tend to jump like a squirrel from one medium to the next, and it seems to like most everything.

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          1. I don’t mind spiral. I have been told the 500 series is the same paper in the Visual Journal. I saw recently someone cut ta 9 x 12 Visual Journal in half giving two smaller landscape format 9 x 6 sketchbooks. On my ‘to do’ list!

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  5. I like how you have drawn the cat’s fur in the second sketch – probably because I can see it better in pen. I also like the hint of color to the nose and eyes. Well done my friend! 💖🌟💕

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  6. Just stumbled onto your blog today. Love your drawings and this kitty face is awesome. I have used the copic pens as well. They are great. Good luck with your new year challenge to draw 100 faces. Have a happy 2016.

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    1. Thank you, Charlie! The best part is I’m totally loving it! Feeling clicked in to the universe, doing what I’m meant to be doing. Feels great! So glad for your feedback; it helps me feel I’m on the right path. Thanks so much, O’Bro! 🎨💜💜💜💜💜

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        1. You’re really good at animals. Remember when you challenged me to do one? I feel like that was the first challenge you issued to me lol! I’ve thought about it ever since. I still don’t feel as comfortable painting them, but I hope to grow into that. I think the drawing has to be right first, and I don’t wanna have to trace or bother with anything like that. So I feel like working on the drawing is the way to go at this point. Thanks for all your help and encouragement, Charlie! It really does mean a lot. We tease each other, but this experience is so much richer because you’re a part of it. Thanks. 💜

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          1. Awww that’s so sweet of you to say! You were one of the first people I met when I started blogging and have been so supportive. I can’t thank you enough. 💜😃 It’s so difficult to blog and wonder if you should bother or if there’s anyone out there who cares. 😊 And you challenged me to do a “human” portrait… Haha! And I promise that I’ll be pursuing that more at some point this year. But your animals are great, seriously… don’t even pause to doubt yourself. You were born to paint them! 🎨❤️

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            1. Thanks so much, Charlie! Hehe, and then I tempted you into abstraction also. I really did like what you did! Yeah, we have flung some challenges back and forth. I loved your painting of P and the phone booth. It was crazy good. I think sometimes what we fear the most is the thing we need or are meant to do the most and maybe that’s why you tend to not wanna do people so much. Maybe you’re meant to do them. Idk because you’re so good at whatever subject you tackle, but I do think when you turn your hand to people, you’ll really do well with them. I still have never tried painting a person and the thought really does scare me lol. But drawing them is good for now. Rock on, O’Bro! As the Dixie Chicks said, you were born to fly! 💜

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              1. Hehe! Yes, you did tempt me briefly into abstract. I just didn’t quite have the feel for it. But people are something I need to try more. And you’re doing faces, so painting people should be on your list coming up this year, right? 😉 If not, then I officially challenge you!! Lol 👍🏻💜

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                1. It scares the hell out of me, Charlie, I’m not gonna lie. You’d think it’d be on the list somewhere, but I have no list. I just keep trying to put one foot in front of the other. It’s got me this far, but art is still a fleeting thing for me. (I don’t consider a year to be a long time at all when people spend entire careers on one medium alone!). I can’t settle down on a medium and haven’t really settled on a subject either when you consider that a face could almost be anything. You may think this sounds crazy if you’re not religious, but I think when God passed out a very long list of foods that my body can’t tolerate to me, he threw in the ability to draw a face as an offset. I could never do this in high school. Never. And I tried! Health wise, I’ve been on a tough road, and have wanted to give up numerous times, but art keeps me going. I do think it’s from God. It makes no sense otherwise. So. Call me crazy if you must. And keep painting and drawing, Charlie, because you really do inspire us all. I think YOU are a gift from God as well! Woot! 🎨💜😊👍🏼

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                  1. Awww…you’re too sweet Laura!! 😊😊And you’re not crazy!! You have been given a gift! And that’s why you should never doubt it and just go for it without ever worrying about the result. There’s more to this gift that you still haven’t let shine…relax and let it shine and it will amaze you. Proceed without fear. You’ve been blessed with everything you need to succeed. ❤️

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  7. This is a really neat post Laura. Love the cat ink drawing – those eyes draw me right in. Thank you for your explanation, I’ve never drawn with pen so this is very information and interesting. Thanks ~

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