The Cat Boat I

I finally got around to visiting the Cat Boat in Amsterdam last weekend! Otherwise known as “De Poezenboot” in Dutch, it is a cat shelter located in a houseboat moored on the Singel canal. About 200-250 cats are rescued each year, be it stray, abandoned or taken in as excess litter, There they are well looked after with vaccination, chipped and neutered before being adopted. Open only 3 days a week for a few hours a day, an appointment is needed to visit. And whilst living in Amsterdam for 10+ years, I never ventured for a visit and regretted it when I moved away especially as I had just found out that after 45 years, the boat is beyond repair and needs relocate to a new one shortly once funds are available A friend though, suggested we go together and secured a visit for us How sweet! And of course I wanted to draw about it…

The Start

I actually began sketching my rather imaginative cat boat in digital form on my Procreate app, making it all cute and illustrative. Whilst in the process of coloring it in, I wanted an analog version of this on paper to develop it into a proper drawing with markers. The sketch was firstly printed then with a graphite transfer sheet, traced over on a blank page of Canson’s The Wall sketchbook, suitable for alcohol markers like Copics. Rather than ordinary carbon sheets, I would recommend graphite sheets as they are less messy and can be easily erased. Saral Transfer Paper is available on Amazon.

The Outline

And now time to further trace over the tracing. Here, I went for Copic Multiliners in black, starting with the 1.0 nib for the boat itself followed by 0.8 or 0.5 . for the cats. It was, I must say, quite a tedious task having to go through it again and as it is not erasable, I had to be careful not to make any mistakes. I added the sun later on, firstly with a graphite pencil then going over it with the Multiliner. Once the ink was dry, the yellow graphite marks were erased. So far so good!

Coloring it All in

And time to introduce some color! I went for Copic Sketch markers this time, rather than Copic Ciao, as I wanted to see the difference. In my opinion, both are equally good quality although the Sketch supposedly is better and professional level as it has more ink and lasts longer. I took in some of the tips from Copic about using the markers; start with small circular movements and work your way up to larger without lifting the nib from the paper. Whilst that certainly worked, I found it difficult not to lift my pen up from paper for the base of the boat as I was scared of going over the line. Hence that rather streaky appearance. Not to worry, practice makes perfect and besides, it’s the cuteness that counts!

What fun that was sketching the cat boat filled with our kawaii feline friends! And here is the Copic markers version of it, named The Cat Boat I. The second one will be the digital version of it as originally planned and soon to be completed. Using that printed drawing as a template, I might even create a mixed media or watercolor version of it, who knows. That should be fun!

Click here to find out more about The Cat Boat in Amsterdam!

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