Street Cat

I’m crazy.  A few weeks ago, I indulged in a set of 100 Holbein coloured pencils!  They’re made in Japan, and I know, I could have waited till I got there and bought them but Amazon was doing a good offer I just couldn’t resist.  Shipping costs to the Netherlands were nil too even though am not even Prime member.  Besides, I didn’t fancy lugging the heavy thing in my suitcase from Japan.  So I thought what the heck.

And now the other day whilst driving, I spotted a cute neighbourhood cat crossing my path.  So kawaii, I thought.  Typical cat.  Instead of leaping across quickly when a car comes by, she just fearlessly and even proudly teetered across like she owned the road.  I love how their short legs just go “pit pat pit pat…”.  And of course I wanted to draw about it!  Here is when I thought I’d put my new coloured pencils to the test.

Pencil Outline

I just used a plain 2B graphite pencil to sketch.  As for paper, I used Strathmore’s Color Pencil Paper (163 gsm) at a larger size than the A4 size I normally use.  The sketch is supposed to be from my point of view as driver of the car.  I played a bit with the perspectives although I know it’s not looking realistic which makes it all the more interesting.  Even more interesting is the cat being proportionately huge.  I like being surreal.  The point is to make the cat centre of focus.


Colour Away!

I was impressed how the paper had good tooth to help provide an even coverage.  By the same token, the surface was also quite smooth with even a vellum feel to it.  And the pencils!  I was quite impressed about how well pigmented they are with a good waxy consistency.  You just need a light hand with the pencils and do not need to press too hard to get the colours on the paper.  I firstly filled in the background by briskly making straight lines to get an idea of colour scheme.


Getting it All Right

However, I did not really like how the pencils left streaks.  It had nothing to do with the pencils but the way I was applying the colours.  When I was advised to go for small circular motions, it made more sense, but still, am not completely perfect right yet.  I also used Derwent”s Blender “pencil” which did help a bit but I think I need more practice.  While everything looks fine, especially the cat, the area on the dashboard still looks a bit streaky even when blended.  On the positive note, I am happy with the colour scheme, using warm colours for the cat and for the rest, cooler shades to add contrast.  I also had a go with shading and shadows to add some dimension to the work.  So here it is!


Though not one of my best work to date, I have to admit this is the first real attempt at a proper colour pencil drawing.  I normally use coloured pencils in mixed media work or when colouring something in that is already outlined with a pen.  As such, I won’t be too hard on myself this time!  I’ll just continue practicing more, especially as I am satisfied with the quality of the paper and pencils.  And anyway, I am happy I was able to capture the “cute cat crossing the road” experience on paper!


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