Some weeks ago, my boyfriend told me he heard someone in the neighbourhood being very upset. Shouting, stomping and slamming doors. Then he overheard another neighbour asking her what had happened. “That cat stole my fish!” she screamed. Turns out she had laid her fish dinner out on the table but left the terrace door open because it was so warm outside. Then before she can catch her, the neighbourhood cat stealthily made her way in and helped herself to her meal! I know that cat. She’s that ginger tabby from a few houses down. Quite naughty, I know, but oh so adorable. And how I wished I had been there. A middle-aged housewife throwing a tantrum fit over her stolen fish! I wouldn’t be too happy either but then I wouldn’t be screaming like a Banshee. Let the poor kitty have it! I guess the woman doesn’t like cats. Which got me thinking….
I got the inspiration to draw on that theme of course! It will be a pastel drawing on proper large pastel paper (Strathmore). I haven’t made a proper pastel piece for some time now, and this was a good chance to do so! Once I dug out my pastel pencils from my drawers, I began outlining my idea. My kitty has acquired not just one fish but two! Make her head extra big like Hello Kitty to enhance how grand she is. Big heads are always cute.
Colour Blocks with Pan Pastels
This was also a good opportunity to use my Pan Pastels. This is especially ideal for covering huge areas. Began with the background by making Kitty zap from the background. Then I continued colouring her in. Orange because the tabby cat is a gingery orange. And the fish to be in purple and violet colours to compliment the yellow and orange. Her collar is blue. At this point, I hesitated in going further with the painting as I liked the simplicity of the piece and the big blocks of colour. Having no face adds to the mystery. The work could be considered completed but maybe if I leave it for a few weeks and come back to it, I may work on it again. I stopped there and put the piece in my folder.
The Cat is Back!
Sure enough, I returned to the piece. I would look at the photo of it I had taken, and the more I looked the more inclined I was to take the plunge. And this morning, I took the piece out and grabbed my box of pastel sticks. Just a few small details, nothing drastic. Firstly the zap should look zappier. More catching. I then added some orange and red details. Looks much better now. Whilst there, maybe the cat could actually do with an expression too. How about that cheeky “Hehe I got em” grin. Oh and having whiskers would also be nice. And it worked really well! I resisted using black and went for a light brown for the whiskers and deep blue for the smiley eyes.
A cute and simple painting. And expressive as well. I do like working with pastels even though they could be a bit messy and dusty compared to painting, as I find the end results stunning. This is especially true with vibrant colours. For this piece, I really thought using pastels would be ideal. Glad I went for it!