Let’s Draw Cats!

I’ve let summer and work get in the way of art and this blog. In between bike rides, I’ve squeezed in a little art time but certainly not enough. One idea that has been bouncing around in my head is sharing with others how easy it is to have fun and make art.

I’ve had several people ask me to have a class on how to make the little animals that I draw and paint, so I’ve put together some fun techniques for creating cute and crazy cats.

You definitely don’t need to be an artist or have any experience!! The goal of these exercises is to open your mind and see drawing from a new perspective. We aren’t going for hyper realistic drawings or paintings, if you want that you could just take a picture.

To get things started I planned some fun art techniques around cats. We are getting together this Thursday Oct. 12 and next Thursday Oct. 19.  I hope you can join, I think it will be lots of fun!

There are so many fun and unique drawing opportunities I couldn’t fit them in to one session, so there will be other classes utilizing different techniques and animals. (I am thinking dogs, rabbits, horses, and a few other surprises)

Let's Draw Cats

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Ink Dropper Cats

Here are several ink dropper cats I made this evening with transparent burnt umber ink and water color paper. I love using the ink dropper to draw. I can get thick and thin lines, along with dark and light color. It’s fun seeing what happens on the paper. The ink was still wet, so I decided to wait and maybe add whiskers later.

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I used the dip pen to add a few lines here and there. Not sure I like the effect.

 

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I used tissue paper to pick up some of the extra ink and make some of the marks lighter. 

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I like the left ear and eyes on this guy.

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The ink isn’t dry on this one yet you can see the ink making a shadow on the paper in the tail. I like this guy a lot and wanted to add more details but was afraid to mess it up.

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I like his eyes….but no his body.

 

 

Ink Dropper Animals

I am currently enrolled in a year long art class with Carla Sonheim. Each week she posts a few videos and an assignment. This past week it was to draw anything with ink and the ink dropper. While the ink was still wet you were to place a piece of toilet paper over the ink to help it smudge. You end up with some fun images.

Of course I had to do some cats and dogs in this fashion. They were a lot of fun! you can do anything, people, flowers or even dogs.

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I didn’t smudge this guy.

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Fun

Work has been sucking the fun out of life lately so I haven’t made any art for a few days.

For this post I’ve included two pieces I did awhile back during my cat phase, each image has 20 animals all on the same sheet! It required a little planning and measuring (and starting over again about 3 times) but it was a lot of fun. I think I will do one of these layouts for dogs and bunnies too.

For these little blob animals, I do the watercolor first and after it dries I outline the animal and it acquires its personality.

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GIMP

I’ve been wanting to learn how to improve my scanned images and I’ve finally taken the time to start watching the tutorial. (Only after wasting hours trying to figure it out on my own.)

I really don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for Adobe software so I downloaded GIMP, but didn’t really know how to use it besides a few simple functions. Mostly I use Picasa to do all my photo editing and even then, I just crop or lighten, nothing too fancy. I needed something with a little a more flexibility.

What is GIMP? Here is a blurb from their website “GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. ” It is similar to Adobe Photoshop.

I’ve been working my way through a Lynda tutorial the last few days. So helpful! The purpose behind all this is to be able to scan in my artwork and then clean it up so I can create prints to post in my Etsy shop.

I now know how to remove the bumpy watercolor paper from the background!

Below is an example. The darker image is directly from my scanner and if you look closely you can see the bumps in the watercolor paper, this won’t look so great if you want to make this into a print. I’ve already made a few prints that had a paper texterure in the background.

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Scanned image

I’ve only made it about a third of the way through tutorial but I did learn to use the Color Select tool. This allowed me to select the cat (since it is all black) and then invert the selection (to select all of the ugly white and then simply hit the delete key!

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Used GIMP to remove the dark background.

I am not sure if there is anything else I should do to this cat, (I’ll learn more as I continue the tutorial) but it looks much nicer and would make a much better print.

 

 

 

 

 

Unproductive

Not a great evening for drawing the other night. I was frustrated that I couldn’t even draw a cat and have it look like a cat. I guess it is just muscle memory or something, but after drawing rabbits and dogs, now my cats look more like rabbits.

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Angry cat?rabbit?

So I tried some smudgy birds instead. The first step is to smudge some color on the paper and then draw the bird around the smudge, and of course using your wrong hand. That made me happy since it at least looked like a bird, maybe a little hunch backed bird but still a bird.

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Tonight I am going to paint some blobs like the one below. I plan on doing rabbits, dogs and birds. They are fun because you aren’t quite sure what you will get. Once everything is dry, I use a black marker to outline and put in some details.

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And you end up with something like this.

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Crazy Cats

I love doing blind contour drawings, you almost always get something that will make you smile.

It is so fun to open your eyes to see what is on the paper. This is a blind contour drawing that I did, and after opening my eyes I used my left hand (non dominant) to trace over again a few times in other colors.Then I added a little watercolor marker.

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Give it a try…..find a picture of an animal you want to draw, do some outlines in the air to practice and then close your eyes and draw the outline. Try it a few times, but keep your eyes closed!

After you open your eyes try adding an eye or some other little detail.

Share them with me in the comments here or on my FB page, I would love to see them.