Artwork – Bengal Cat. Daniel Smith Watercolor on Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Quill Size 4 and Princeton Velvetouch Round Size 8.
Doodlewash Prompt: Brownie Points
I used the grid method to draw this. Not sure why, because the shapes are fairly easy. I have postcards with grids drawn on them and I place these on a lightbox. Then I put my blank postcard on top of the grid card.
Art Tutor has a free Grid Drawing Tool where you can pull your photos in, do some editing if you like, and then apply a grid to it. You have a choice of 20 grid sizes – so you can use a guide with large grids or teeny tiny grids or anywhere in between. I’ve found there I normally use 3, 5, or 7, so my postcards grids are the same size as those.
This program is really handy-dandy. You can crop, rotate and adjust saturation, brightness and contrast. You can use one or all of the features and download whatever you’ve done at any point.
I pull up the grid that most closely matches my postcard grid and draw. Note that I am NOT tracing the photo – I’m using the lightbox so I don’t have to draw a grid on my artwork.
What drew me to this photo was the softness of the cat. I wanted to keep that softness so I decided to skip my usual pen drawing and use negative painting instead.
Often, with my negative paintings, I just throw paint at the paper and pick out a shape. This time I wanted a specific shape, hence the pencil drawing. I really didn’t need to make my pencil drawing so involved, but no harm done.
I used my Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing pan set. With my quill brush, I wet all the area around the cat and dropped in Buff Titanium, then Quinacridone Gold and then Goethite. Goethite granualates (gets that pebbly look) so it added a little texture to the background, as well as a touch more brown. I used a watery touch of Jane’s Grey for the shadow.
Notice that I didn’t worry too much whether the color got inside the cat. It’s a pretty loose style, so it doesn’t matter too much.
At this point, I let everything dry.
With as much water as I had used, the postcard curled a little. I gently folded it back so it would lie flat.
For the cat, I started with the buff Titanium again, covering most of him, but leaving the lightest areas the color of the paper.
For the points (the face, spots and stripes), I alternated between Raw Umber and Jane’s Grey, using watery mixes throughout. The cat isn’t very dark, so I didn’t want intense color.
Once this dried, I used a mix of the two colors in the darkest areas, such as the ears and face. For the last, I added a watery swipe of Quin Gold, to a little brightness and to tie the cat to the background.
Wanna buy some of these cool toys?
Hahnemühle Cold Press Watercolor Postcards (review).