Cats are wonderful models because they mostly ignore you and remain as they are when you walk up with a camera or sketch book. Meeps is my daughter’s cat that came to live with me when she moved across the country. I was reluctant to take him at first because we’d just lost an elderly cat and I didn’t want to get involved with another so soon. However, he quickly stole my heart and has been a great source of ideas for artwork. Like a born model he tends to pick sitting areas with great lighting.
The house we used to live in had a kitchen window overlooking a big back yard with shade trees and grass. It was like a mini Peaceable Kingdom with all sorts of birds, squirrels, butterflies, and lizards going about their business. Ducks and rabbits also resided there from time to time. And a few stray cats who were mostly “peaceable” but had to be monitored to make sure they didn’t eat anyone else in the kingdom. Sometimes as we looked out the window, the animals would stare back at us. One day the cat in this drawing decided to hop up on the window sill and have a closer look. I took a picture of her with my Android camera and worked directly from the phone screen image to create this portrait.
As I mentioned in a previous post, smart phone cameras are wonderful resources for artists. You can keep a whole gallery of images to work from. You can crop awkward compositions to balance them and you can use the edit features to get creative effects. I used a color enhancement setting on the photo for Stray and tried to capture the effect with my colored pencils.I liked the result but think it would have looked better on smoother paper.
Below is a small painting of the same kitty. Or a close relative.