Change of Pace

Jake, about 8x8 in., pastel on newsprint

Jake, pastel on newsprint, 8x8 in.

This is a quick (about 15 minutes) sketch of Jake, our new kitten. He’s a little grey tabby with some beautiful markings. Animals are not something I regularly draw, but I felt like doing a quick study of him. I find working on subject matter that I don’t usually handle is a good way to stay fresh and loose. It also is a great way to remind myself that the subject should be thought of purely in terms of form and value, shapes and colors rather than as drawing a cat. Taking this approach enables me to remain detached from the subject and to not introduce preconceived notions of what I think a cat looks like. By actually looking at the cat and drawing the forms I see in the correct values and colors, I’m more likely to get a closer representation of what the cat looks like. I’ve taken liberties with color, introduced some light blues in the lighter parts of his fur, as well as emphasized some rusty reds and yellow ochres in the warm grey of his nose and face. Have also tried to make him not “too cute”, he’s adorable in real life but I didn’t want this to have a saccharine sweetness to it, staying loose and more abstract helps with that as well.

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