Shyna, Lovely Kitty (#39): 100 Face Challenge

I was browsing posts tagged “cats” and ran across Diary of, a very cool photography blog, and this photo of Dennis’s cat, Shyna. I was so attracted to the angle of her head in the shot and her beautiful eyes, so of course I had to try to capture her in graphite.

020516Dennis has so many irresistible photos of Shyna on his site that I may be drawn back to her again and again.   It was interesting working with the areas of her fur that are black, as I find black fur most challenging.   I’m working up to it though, so Jill and Denis (and others who have been waiting patiently), I hope to feature your animals soon.   Thank you for sharing terrific photos of your most adorable cat, Dennis!

Peace and pointy pencils to all!   Happy Friday!   😀

96 thoughts on “Shyna, Lovely Kitty (#39): 100 Face Challenge

  1. Wow Laura, I am impressed 🙂 You have skills! I’d like to print this one and hang it on my wall in a frame, because it’s a beautiful drawing, and well, of course also because it’s Shyna! 🙂 Also I wonder if you will allow me to download your image to upload it to my blog, I’d like to attach it to a post that I will write about your work. I’d like to mention both, the main URL of your blog, and the URL of this post. Let me know if I am allowed to do that. Thanks a lot for drawing Shyna, also it’s very interesting to see how one of my photos looks like if it’s drawn with graphite!

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    1. I’m so glad you like it, Dennis, and so honored that you’d like to feature this drawing on your blog. I was pressed for time both in the drawing, which I did late at night, and in the post, which I wrote in the middle of a busy workday. I should have explained that I consider this a preliminary sketch. The only other I’d tried of Shyna was hastily scribbled on a Post-it note. This was done in my most humble sketchbook, not the best of paper, because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It went a little better than I expected but I can’t get the depth I’d like with that paper and I didn’t take the time to finish it properly. I just couldn’t resist your photo (which had me grabbing a Post-it at my desk right away – that’s how much I loved it). So when I had a chance at bedtime, I had to grab that image again and have a go. So, to make a long story short, as flattered as I am by your appreciation for this drawing, I’d like to do something much better! If that makes any sense. I consider this a preliminary sketch. Again, I couldn’t be more thrilled that you’re pleased with it, Dennis!

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      1. Even if I am not an illustrator, I know what you mean. In photography for example, I call the majority of my photos just “snapshots” (probably similar to sketches), shots taken for practicing or to see how it turns out, or photos just taken out of boredome. I learn and experiment with angles, backgrounds, lights, different subjects and so on. I take that experience and try it better, or I do other snapshot experiments to see how things turn out, and the experience will be helpful for the future. I always try to improve myself, and that is only possible if I take lots of photos. But then, sometimes, I am so happy with a photo that I want to make it shine with Photoshop or Lightroom, or I go to great lenghts to try to get the exact same shot done under better conditions (less distracting things in the background, better focus on the subject, better sunlight or daytime). I think this is the point with many creative interests, you learn by just doing it, that’s practicing, and you always want to do it better.

        Let me know if you want to have this sketch featured anyway, otherwise I can of course do this some time in the future if you are more happy with another approach. No matter how, you deserve a mention, because I went through your most recent images, and I like them all and had to insta-subscribe even if I am not an illustrator, but I like to take a look at all kind of graphics, including drawings, and I like yours 🙂

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  2. Fabulous Laura!! I love the angle and the perspective is perfect!! 😍 Hehe…it’s funny that you’ve said you struggle with perspective in buildings and yet these animals are rendered with perfect perspective! 😉 I struggle with getting the perspective of living things right, so your animal angles are very inspiring!! 😊🎨💜💜

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    1. Thank you, Charlie! That’s an interesting point you raise. Maybe it’s the distance and the multiple angles/points in a cityscape that makes it more complex for me? It’s kind of weird to think that someone could draw buildings for years with perfect precision and struggle with an animal because they’ve never tried animals. Or the reverse. Interesting! I chose this photo because of the perspective and thought it would be a real challenge. I struggled with Shyna’s left snout, but not the eyes, which is strange when I think about it. I feel like you do really well with whatever subject you tackle, Charlie. Not sure if that helps, but as the viewer, I don’t really see an issue in your work, especially considering the speed at which you produce it and the fact you consider them sketches/doodlewashes. Imagine what you could do if you had the time to really put into a detailed work. Although I understand the whole art-ADD thing as well, but seriously, I don’t think there’s any subject you couldn’t really master in no time at all. Even cats! lol. Have you decided on your C piece yet?

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      1. Awww you’re so sweet!! 💕😃I’m totally running behind on comments as this work week has been crazy! So happy for the weekend!! I made a cranky cat!! Hehe😉👍🏻 Thanks so much for your encouragement. I had more time last summer back when I was doodlewashing France and doing full scenes, but I had only been painting for a month at that point. Wish I had more time again to see what would happen now that I’ve gotten in all this practice!! 😊hehe

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  3. Laura! This took my breath away! WOWZA! I had to tell myself – breathe – take a breath – LOL! SO STUNNING! Oh those eyes. I feel the love – of Shyna for Dennis – of you for cats – of you for art! ❤ Swoon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Jodi, your comments…..I should copy and paste them into a book and keep somewhere so whenever I am discouraged, I leaf through! 😀 You are ever so kind, as always! I hope to give this image another try, because I want Dennis to have a really nice drawing. This was done on that really inexpensive sketchbook I use when I’m drawing an image that I’m not sure I can even do. It’s been great though, because it takes away all pressure and so the drawings in that book have come out much better than I thought, many times. It’s so thin though, and not much tooth, so I can’t really get the depth with the darks. Thanks as always for your enthusiastic support, Jodi. Honestly, from the beginning, when you started following me – many many times your comments lifted me up when I wasn’t sure I should be drawing, posting, blogging, or making art at all. So I owe you a lot! And I really appreciate you. Thank you. ❤

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    1. Thank you so much, Trisha! The eyes are what draw me in to a photo every single time. I would really enjoy a detailed drawing of the eyes alone. I have often thought I might try it, most likely in colored pencil, I think would be fun. I’m so glad you enjoyed this sketch, and I really appreciate your kind encouragement here and at Dennis’s place. Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you do try sketching if you enjoy it. It is such a meditative and relaxing hobby, which is what drew me to it (no pun intended lol).


    1. Thanks, Jill! Sorry I had a brain miss there and somehow neglected to reply til just now. I do want to sketch Jack, very much. He will be a challenge, but he will be worth it. He so reminds me of our Prancer. I’m really glad you like this sketch. More cats planned soon! They are much harder than dogs, I think, but I’m enjoying faces of all kinds.

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    1. Thank you so much, Solveig; that really means a lot that you took the time to come over here and let me know that. I really would love to become a pet portraitist and I’m working hard to perfect my skills. I still feel I have a ways to go, but photos like Dennis’s just beg to be drawn! Thanks so kindly for your comment and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Thanks so much, Maggie! I’m working on them, trying to get better…..this one really was supposed to be a preliminary sketch that I hope to perfect on good paper and with more time spent. I’m glad you’re seeing improvement, that means a lot.


    1. Cathe, thank you for making my night with your kind remark! I am trying so hard to improve. I really want to be able to make the owners of these animals proud and happy with the work I’m doing. We lost both our cats within a year and a half and it makes me so happy to draw others’ pets now. I’m really enjoying it. And the people faces too. It’s just feeling like…..I finally found what I’m supposed to do. Thank you.


  4. Oh this is just wonderful Laura! What a beautiful cat. I can only echo what’s already been said on the perspective – I can see how that would have been quite tough to nail, but you got it spot on the money! Lovely attention to detail in the fur, too. I bet even Shyna herself would approve of this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! I’m hoping it turns into the 365 face challenge, honestly. I’ve already made it to 40 because I can’t seem to not draw faces, apparently. hehe. And since we’re not 40 days into the year, I figure I can go for 365. I’m glad you are enjoying it! I sure do love what you do. You have the Midas touch!

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