Thursday, September 19, 2013

Unorthodox Cat Toys

Cat Toy Masquerading As A Pillow
Ink with Watercolor
Stillman and Birn Beta Sketchbook
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Autumn has already arrived at our house despite temperatures in the mid-90's. (To that end, I've recently bought a few pillows, a wreath and some other things to help usher in the season in the hopes of convincing myself it really isn't 107ยบ! [It's not. It just feels like it.])

So imagine my surprise, annoyance, aggravation, frustration, disappointment when the kitten decided the new pillows made GREAT play toys.


Willis has a blast attacking the wonderful, big balls of soft cushiness. The material is a soft suede and feels good to the touch. However, they're also great to hide things under and then hunt before pouncing on them for the kill. In fact, the pillows spend about as much time on the floor as they do on the furniture.

Since it is doubtful they'll be in great condition by the time fall is over, I figured I'd better commemorate them in my sketchbook so that I could remember them before they're torn to shreds.

About the Sketch:
Because I wanted the pillow to stand out and I was short on time, I chose to paint only the pillow. By adding color in one area only, I can direct the eye to the my Center of Interest (COI).

This works well when you have a sketch that has an area that has a mistake in it or didn't turn out so hot. You may or may not notice that I fudged the lamp shade as well as the line running across the bottom of the couch.

I attempted to fix the line on the couch only to draw it in crooked again.

Still, chances are good you may not have noticed had I not pointed out the mistakes.

That's the cool thing about art—we get to use all kinds of tools and methods to hide the flaws...we just have to know how!

Friday, September 13, 2013

It's Been A Buggy Week!

You may think I'm jesting. Let me assure you that I am not...

One evening this past week, Chris and I were headed out of our neighborhood and were stopped waiting to merge into traffic on a busy street. I glanced out the window to see this Pipevine Swallowtail* sitting in the road. *Mine doesn't look like any of the photos on Wikipedia, but does look like my photo reference in my butterfly identification book. I think there is a possibility this is a female. 

Watercolor of a
Pipevine Swallowtail
Stillman & Birn Beta Bound Journal
5.5 x 8.5 inches 
 Her wings were moving, but he wasn't lifting off. I opened the door and stepped over near her and she still didn't lift off so I carefully coaxed her onto my finger.  Once I was back in the jeep, I handed her off to Chris how placed her on the floorboard.  
Detail of watercolor of a
Pipevine Swallowtail
Stillman & Birn Beta Bound Journal
5.5 x 8.5 inches

My hope was that she was merely stunned, but in short order, it became obvious that her wing had been damaged and she was no longer able to fly. Butterflies typically have a very short lifespan anyway, and with no way to fly as well as the possibility of internal injuries, there wasn't much chance of her surviving.

Nature's unfortunate loss was my gain as it gave me the opportunity to examine this winged jewel up close and at my leisure. She's now making her home in my bug collection. In addition to this beauty, I was also gifted with a Rhino Beetle and a Cicada.

The cicada was found by my 11-year-old nephew. He gave it to my father with instructions to give it me. My whole family "gifts" me with bugs! How cool is that?!

Now I just need to make the time to sketch them all. Could someone "gift" me some time to go with all these bugs?!