The Cat Boat II

And now that I am back from my vacation, I am resuming my blogs from where I had left off. Here is the watercolor version of the Cat Boat painting, the second of my trilogy or maybe more! The first of the series was in Copic markers which came out pretty cool. More about the Cat Boat “story” on The Cat Boat I, but to sum up: Otherwise known as “De Poezenboot” in Dutch, the cat shelter is 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, all well looked after with vaccination, chipped and neutered before being adopted. I had the honor of visiting the place a few weeks ago and so had to paint 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 Strathmore’s Watercolor Sketchbook. 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.

Let’s Get Painting!

Once I tidied up the graphite copy by erasing stray marks, I proceeded with painting, starting firstly with the background. Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus Watercolors in shades of yellow and blue were used for this. For the sun and the sea, I experimented with blending some Gum Arabic and was pleasantly surprised to see how strong and vivid the colors popped out. I shall definitely be using that more often! As with the boat itself, I used up the remainder of what had been left in the watercolor dish from a previous painting. I believe they were tubes of Holbein watercolors. Looking pretty so far!

And Now the Kitties…

And time to paint our feline friends! As they come in neutral colors, I thought this would be an opportunity to try out my new set of Kremer Pigment Watercolors. They’re wonderful as they are natural pigments and come out quite vibrant, a bit like the Kuretake Gansai Tambi but these are from Germany. The greyscale set are especially amazing especially as I wanted to paint some cats white and see if it would work in various shades, and it did! To add some details to the cats including the eyes and to enhance the boat a bit more, aquarelle pencils by Faber Castell came handy. And here we go! My aquarelle version of the cat boat, how kawaii is that.

It is quite interesting to compare the two versions of the same drawing isn’t it. Compared to the Copic markers, the watercolors give a more subtle and dreamy look. It took me some time to let that sink in because I was accustomed to the more “solid” appearance from the markers. I further love the different blues in the background which contrasts beautifully with the warmer tones of the boat. And of course, the cats are just as adorable in both versions. Now getting excited to see what I can come up with for further variations of this cat boat!

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