A Quick Sketch of Willis

10:32 AM

Willis in the sunshine
Stillman and Birn Bound Beta Sketchbook
5.5 x 8.5
Pentel color brush and watercolor
We have a window seat for the cats in the front window of our living room and Willis, our new kitten, likes to climb up there in the late afternoon for a warm, sunny snooze.

Good time for a sketch of her, right?

Only if I'm super quick!

I sketched the line drawing with a Pentel EnerGel pen. This a relatively new pen on the market and is advertised as being unlikely to smear because the ink dries quickly. And it does. The pen tip is an 07 in size and what I like about is that it bleeds giving me lots of fun gray wash effects, but leaves a strong line even after the ink is hit with water.

However, I knew I was going to need a much stronger, larger black pen or paint to capture Willis' likeness quickly. I've been looking for ann opportunity to start sketching with the Pentel Color Brush and this seemed a great time.

I focused on the getting the kitten drawn first because I knew she wasn't going to stay in that position for long. (Animals never stay in the same position for long. They have some kind of radar that lets them know when someone is watching them!)

Before I finished with her entire body, she'd curled up onto her side and gone to sleep. It worked out because I didn't get a chance to get caught up in the details.

I then went back and added the shelf with the fuzzy cover, window details and a few branches from the outside to add a bit of depth to the image.

About the Pentel Color Brush:
The Pentel Color Brush has been around for a while, but I'm just now getting around to mess with it. The ink is not waterproof, giving ample opportunity to create fun washes and effects. It was like a very pigment rich watercolor and played well with the other watercolor I added to the sketch. I put a touch of red to her ears where the sun was lighting up the thinner skin areas.

It was a fun, quick way to get down a sketch of a kitten that is never, ever still.

It was fun to cover a lot of area quickly and created a neat monochromatic effect.

I haven't done any lightfastness tests on either product and so I can't recommend them at this time, but if longevity of your artwork is not of major importance to you in your sketchbooks, I would recommend giving either of these pens a whirl, especially if you like black and white sketching!

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14 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Cute sketch. Yes, they move so much even when they are sleeping! I like the idea of the line staying well but getting the wash out of it too. Will look up these pens. Thanks for sharing them and the adorable kitty sketch.

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    1. Thanks, Timaree! I think you'll like the pens. I found mine in a big office supply store. Let me know what you think if you try them.

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  2. Great sketch - Cat's are hard to capture from life but you did so well. I have four at my house...lots of opportunities if they sit still (LOL) - have a great day and thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're right, Debbie, cats are a challenge, but they're also good practice! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. That radar makes animals so difficult to sketch. It always makes me feel so powerful to just put my eye on them and they notice.Yet, I don't always want them to move. Ha... Enjoy your sweet little kitty. I know you will have plenty of sketching opportunities.

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    1. I was so hoping WIllis would stay still, but she NEVER does so it was really no surprise to have her curl up and go to sleep. I have a lot of sketches of ears, a few noses, some eyes, but seldom do I get the whole cat!

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  4. it is indeed a sweet sketch Laure' and I enjoyed reading about the process...

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  5. I just watch a tutorial of yours on youtube about how to use a water brush. So glad I discovered your blog!

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    1. Hi, Gloriadelia! Thanks for stopping by. I hope the video was helpful. Waterbrushes are wonderful—once you make friends with them!

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  6. I love your sketch of Willis - she's a cutie. I'm going to check out the Pentel EnerGel - sounds like a good one. Have you tried the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen? It's supposed to have waterproof ink.

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  7. Great sketch of Willis Laure! I agree, what an adorable little kitty...how can you get any work done with that cutie around?!!

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  8. ....ahhhh! That is the sweetest sketch. I love that little kitten body!

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