For this challenge, I stalked my three cats and filled pages in my sketch book with drawings of cats. The drawing above (Jake) is the best drawing of the lot. I have always enjoyed drawing from life, but I mainly draw still life (for obvious reasons). This challenge encouraged me to stretch a little and draw living, breathing things. Here are some lessons I learned during this challenge:
- I cannot sit in my favorite chair in the living room and expect our three cats to come and pose for me. In my mind, I give them food, water, medical care, and a clean litter box, so they should be more than happy to pose for me. Cats, however, seem to see the world differently.
- I need to follow the cats with my sketching equipment and sketch what I can. Eventually, they will settle down and I can get a complete drawing.
- I will get many, many partial sketches. Only a few will be good.
- I need to build drawing from memory skills, so I can sketch the main idea and fill in the details after the cat moves.
- Cats tend to repeat the same poses, even if they do not hold any one pose for long. I can start a number of different poses and then go back and add to them when the cat returns to that pose.
- I create the best drawings when I am relaxed, am concentrating, and am not too concerned about outcome. The more I relax, the more I observe.
- I have great admiration for artists who lived before the invention of photography and who convincingly depicted living, moving animals. They had amazing observation and drawing skills.
I used both a 6B pencil and a Micron .05 pen in my sketches. Here is one of my pen drawings of my cat Max. I like using different mediums for variety, but am more comfortable with pencil. I will try additional mediums in the future, such as water soluble pencil and ink.