An Exhausting Sunday

An Exhausting Sunday

Sergeant Stripes has had an exhausting Sunday. First, the greenhouse seemed sunny, and appropriate for sleeping, but then it was such a lovely day that the greenhouse was too hot, and sleeping had to be done in the garden. Now it is cooler, but the greenhouse is clearly not to be relied upon. Taking no chances Sarge has decided to play it safe and sleep instead in a box in my studio, where the only danger is that one may suddenly become an artist’s model. Which is exhausting. [If you are thinking this sort of post usually appears on my…

A Cat may look at a King

With only a few weeks to go before my solo exhibition in Ilminster in July, I started working on some Spelling Animals pictures.I’ve been doing the Spelling Animals for customers for several years, and as cards for the nieces and nephews for some years before that,. but I’ve done any for myself – or at least, since they are still for sale,  for nobody in particular yet. So this was something of a treat: free-range Spelling Animals, willing to spell anything I chose to ask of them. Here is what the cats spelt. And, since this is not for a…

'Arthur does the Ironing'

Cat Logic

From my Cat-of-the-Day sketchbook blog I have made a little range of Cat greetings cards, many of which feature informative notes on the Logic of Cats. These may prove most useful to Humans, who often fail to understand the motives and innate helpfulness of these charming creatures.  The current range can be seen in my Etsy Shop, and wholesale prices are also available if you would like to email me.

Spelling Animals: Christina in Cats

The Spelling Animals in Action

A couple of fairly recent Spelling Cat names that I have never got round to posting on this blog. If you’d like your own name or somebody else’s spelt in cats, dogs, lizards, octopi etc, do have a look at the Spelling Animals section in my Etsy shop (note: dogs aren’t listed there yet, but I can do dogs too!) It is important to have a good imagination to do this job, because this is what my models usually look like. Here is Freyja, helping:

The Year of the Cat - a calendar for 2016 by Nancy Farmer

One year, two calendars: Cats & Swimming for 2016.

…but no, absolutely no swimming cats! The calendar designs are finally finished, and I am awaiting samples from the printers. I have set up a page for each one in the ‘Finished Artwork’ section of this website (links below). There will be a 10% discount for early orders, placed by Sunday August 23rd, after that the price will be £12 each or £10 each if ordering more than one at a time. If these images come as a surprise, they are all selections of my digital drawings from the Cat-of-the-Day blog The images below are just tasters, the links below…

Stripy cat washing

Stripy cat bottom!

I promised you a cat bottom, so here it is! This one was taken from the very first post of my cat-of-the-day sketchbook blog: It’s another mezzotint of course, printed from aluminium. The print is only 8cm square by the way, but if you want to see it quite close up, just click on the image. Here is the original sketch (below). Arthur is not really that stripy, but it was a starting point: And below – a few of the stages of making the plate:  

Cat-and-dead-rat sketch 3

Memento Mori

Not-so-cute cats (mostly). Do not fear, there are no dead cats in this post, but perhaps rat-owners might be advised to look away and to skip this one. Continuing with my little series of cat mezzotint prints, I felt it was important that I didn’t end up with a series entirely comprising nice cute cat pictures. Cats are lovely, but lets have the Compleat Cat. Therefore, I thought at the very least there should be the classic cat-washing-bum pose, and at lease one dead rat. We have chickens and where they live has become so badly undermined with rats we…

Spiky Cat mezzotint print

The ‘Spiky Cat’ revisited

I went back to the plate in my post ‘Mezzotint done improperly‘, and burnished a few features into my Spiky Cat. Now he looks like this: I also added a little more detail with the mezzotint rocker (before burnishing). He used to look like this: I think it’s an interesting effect, but I wonder if the approach has a wider application or whether it is mostly suitable for drawing cats like this? It would be interesting to find out sometime. Below is a photo of the printing plate as it now looks:

Mezzotint: 'Cat-in-the-Box'

Cat-in-the-Box: another mezzotint

I am not sure if I had intended to do a series of mezzotint cats, but that is what seems to be happening! Besides, they are a useful subject and size to be practising with a technique that is fairly new to me, so here is my latest. This is not a drawing sketched from life but owners of cats will instantly recognize this behaviour as classic catishness. Below is the initial sketch on the aluminium plate, all the rest of the detail was made up as I went along. For more on the mezzotint process, have a look at…

The print so far

Mezzotint done improperly

Printing ‘The Spiky Cat’… I promised this post was coming! While I was making the printing plate in the previous post it occurred to me that the mezzotint rocker – the tool that is used to put the texture on the plate first, produces a rather interesting line which might be reminiscent of the spiky hairiness of cats just on its own. The individual lines made by this tool aren’t usually seen in the final print – the idea is to ‘rock’ all over the plate in 8 different directions until you have an even texture of burrs and pock-marks,…