Kitty in Tabi

My back is still doing me in and I still have a sniffles but am getting better! Yesterday I started painting again but I’m in the midst of completing it. Meanwhile I want to share with you a little drawing I did using some hard pastels I dug out of my art kit. I was at my art classes on Friday and realised that Mika-chan, the little cat being looked after by the tutor, has white paws! I had never noticed that till now.

“Aw look”, exclaimed one of the students, “she’s wearing tabi“. Tabi are traditional white socks worn in Japan with a separate big toe from the rest of the other toes to accommodate the geta flip-flop sandals one wore with kimonos. How sweet! So when I got home, I was itching to draw the cat with the white tabi. In my art kit, I found a set of brown-scale hard pastels by Cretacolor. I haven’t used them in ages, let alone even remember having them in the first place!

As soon as I got home, I grabbed a pad of Strathmore tan-toned drawing paper and sketched away. I quite like the feel of drawing with hard pastels too. Since hard pastels are purer and have more binding material, they are less fragile than the soft ones and less messy. They don’t blend easily as the soft pastels do but do give out bolder lines and create a more dramatic effect compared to the subtle dusty effects of soft pastels. The result is a chalky texture. For the background I merely laid the pastel stick on its side and slid it down the paper.

That same day, funnily enough, I was walking to the shops, when I came across a black cat loitering around a parked car. She too had white paws! Must’ve been a white tabi cat day. And now I think you can guess what my next theme may be!

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