Letting the Cat Out

Someone let the cat out to play!  When we were out strolling the other day, we came across a nearby farm house selling jars of home-made jams.  The owners left them neatly in rows with a basket to put your money in.  In the countryside, people are more trusting and honest so it’s nothing new here.  We made our choices, and as soon as we put the money in the basket, the door opened suddenly and out came a cute kitty!  Evidently, the owner let her out to play, although we didn’t see the owner himself who probably wanted to stay anonymously in the background.  And so cute!  The kitty came towards me and we started playing together.  Sadly, we had to continue our walk so I had to say bye-bye.  And now I thought it would be an idea to draw about this of course.  Little One also loves kitties and wants to play with them too!  Today was a sunny day and she ventured out for a walk and a cat comes over…

Pencil Outline

I decided to do a colour pencil drawing for this and take my time over it.  This was a good chance to practice various blending techniques I have been wanting to try out for ages.  First I did my sketch directly with my Holbein Artists Colored Pencils on a large A3 pad of Strathmore Colored Pencil paper (163 gsm).

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Practising Blending Techniques

For this piece, I tried out three different blending techniques:  Derwent Blender, Holbein’s Meltz and odourless turpentine Sennielier Essence Sans Odeur.  I have outlined my experience with them in a previous blog Blending Coloured Pencils.  And hence for the grass, I firstly went for the Holbein’s Meltz which gave a full coverage watercolour-like effect.  The turpentine was then used to blend for the sun which has a subtle waxy texture and doesn’t dissolve the pencils as much as the Meltz does.  They do indeed give different results.

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Further Colouring

Once I had a better idea of the effects, I continued using the different techniques where it suited best.  The Meltz, for instance, was used on Little One’s kawaii face because I wanted full coverage.  For the hair, I used at least three different browns and brushed on some turpentine to let the colours bind together rather than fully get mixed with one another.  Then for Little One’s eyes and jumpsuit as well as the cat, I used a series of colours and rubbed them in with Derwent Blender.  The result is a somewhat soft velvety texture which is suited for these areas.  Thus whilst drawing this piece, I got to figure out not only blending techniques themselves but also where best to use them and create some harmony in the whole painting.

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Adding Details

I dotted in some autumn leaves on the ground firstly.  Then added some shading to Little One and Kitty by incorporating a bit of green for some dimension. After adding the eyes and whiskers for Kitty, I decided more volume was needed on Little One’s hair so I drew in more on top.  And now!

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I must say this is one of my better coloured pencil pieces I’ve done.  What was important is that I took my time with it and chose with thought the blending techniques.  That made it a lot more fun and makes colour pencil drawing all the more interesting.  I’d definitely like to do more like this.  And look how sweet and cute Little One looks with the Kitty next to her!  Now I really need to do more.

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