First and foremost, let me begin by saying that, no, our cat Flower Child is not as fat as I’ve made her appear in this graphite and gansai sketch. I tend to always make animals and birds a bit too short and squat. I did, however, create somewhat of a likeness, I think, and I’m sure I will always cherish this little painting. It shows Flower Child sitting outside as we’re enjoying our morning time together.
“Morning time” has become part of our daily routine. The breakfast dishes are done. The bed is made. I’ve got the day well under way. So then, soon after the sun comes up, I gather up a few drawing supplies — my sketchbook, an HB pencil with an eraser, a sharpener, and sometimes my gansai and a couple waterbrushes. I open the door and Flower Child comes running. She loves our morning time together outdoors.
We sit on the front porch. She chases bugs, watches squirrels, and waits for the birds to begin singing. I open my sketchbook and start working on whatever my daily drawing assignment happens to be. Each day, you see, as I follow along with Barrington Barber’s 10-week art course, I’m drawing something different. And on this particular day the subject was animals, and, specifically, cats.
Well, didn’t I have the perfect model?
Of course, drawing animals has always been problematic for me. I am getting better. In the last year or so, I’ve drawn a rather handsome giraffe, a bored-looking water buffalo, and a decent zebra. Those creatures, however, were sketched as part of “Gettin’ Sketchy”, an online feature from The Virtual Instructor. In other words, I had a bit of guidance with them. This time, I was on my own.
Before starting my drawing of Flower Child, I spent a couple minutes quickly copying a cat drawing from Barber’s book. I’d say I got the right idea here, but not quite perfect proportions. At least I’m aware of what I need to work on.
I love cats, and I’ve drawn or painted a number of cat faces over the years, including one scratchboard drawing that I really liked. You might remember, too, the painting I did of my daughter’s cat, Diego, when he passed away recently. Yes, I really do love cats, and I want to spend more time drawing and painting them.
Oh, by the way, here is the reference photo I took for the graphite and gansai sketch of Flower Child. I doubted she would sit still long enough for me to make even a very quick drawing.
She’s really a beautiful cat, and I wish I could do her justice in a drawing or painting. Needless to say, as a happy cat owner I have quite a collection of photographs already. Maybe, in time, I’ll be able to more accurately depict our Flower Child.
In fact, I considered doing several more cat drawings right away, but that goes against my summer drawing plan. I’ve mentioned before that I’m moving very quickly through this 10-week drawing course and not worrying about getting my drawings just right. I AM NOT BEING GRADED ON MY DRAWINGS. I love to remind myself of that simple fact. These are my drawings, good and bad, and no matter how awful they might be, I am learning from them.
So, no more cat drawings today. Nope. Today’s drawing subject is dogs. I’m horrible at drawing dogs! I know. I’ve tried. So, now, I’ll try again. I’m getting ready to pick up my art supplies and head to the porch with Flower Child. I’ll do my best to draw a dog or two, and I’ll probably have a good laugh at how out of proportion my canines can be. But all the same, I’ll be enjoying my morning time with our very special Flower Child.
Thanks for letting me share her with you!