Two sleeping cats

by rufus0705 on June 7, 2012

These are two drawings I did of Max and DeeDee, my two cats. I would have rather drawn them sitting up, or looking at me, or doing something more active than sleeping, but it was almost impossible to draw them when they were doing anything. Even trying to draw them when they were cleaning themselves did not work.

Deedee came out better than Max. Finally, she curled up nicely on the couch and I had enough time to get this drawn:

This is how Max came out. He was sleeping on the floor nearby.

Both of them had one ear turned around toward me. I think they knew I was looking at them. Getting the ear to be the right shape was really hard – it took at least 3-4 tries for each ear! Deedee’s far ear came out best; its actually perfect. At least it happens sometimes.

I drew these with an HB pencil on my new, “nice” sketchbook. The paper is pretty good – good enough that I can draw on both sides if I don’t press down too hard.

I am also using an eraser, lightly, to clean up stray lines. Sometimes this means that I have to erase all the lines I’ve drawn, even the good one/s in a certain part of the drawing, and then go back in and put “good” lines in only. It works, but sometimes when I go back in to draw the correct-looking lines, I screw them up too. That’s when it ends up taking 3-4 tries to get a line right.

By the way… in real life, cats are hard to draw. They don’t stay still, for starters, but they also NEVER sit in a way that does not involve some foreshortening. Their bodies also slope in ways that can be confusing and hard to draw (all that loose furry skin… it is like drawing drapes… or cat’s pajamas).

However, cats are beautiful. When you can get the lines right, they make great drawing subjects. Especially for pencil work.



by rufus0705 on June 6, 2012

This is the birdhouse I drew today. I am pretty happy with how it came out. Some of the lines could have been erased, like on the top right side and the round base (which I completely mucked up…), but a lot of the lines came out right the first time.

The shading worked out really well with this. Another reason that I like light “H” or “HB” or “H2″ pencils – they shade really evenly.

My favorite part of this drawing is on the right side of the roof. The actual bird house has these drop-like things on the roof, and so on this side I tried to shade the drops to make them, not to draw lines to make them like I did on the left side. It is hard to see it in this image, but the real drawing shows those shading-for-shape drops really well. They came out almost exactly how I wanted them to.

I got to pay closer attention to shadows and highlighting in this drawing. The way shadows and highlights appear sometimes is really wacky. It does not make sense, for example why the highlights and shadows on the round part of this bird house (the dowels, I guess, you would call them) go from very faint shadows on the left edge, to bright highlights, then bleed into the darkest shadows of the whole dowel, and then fade back to lighter shadows by the time you get to the far side. Its not supposed to be like that! It supposed to go very light, bright, very light, dark. Not very light, bright, very dark, very light.

I hope people know what I’m talking about. It you don’t, study something round in the nexy hour or day. Really look at how the light and dark parts work. I almost want to go find a science teacher to explain to me why the lightest and darkest parts on the round dowel are next to each other. But they’d probably just look at me funny.

You know you are deep into drawing when things like this really get your attention and stump you. Fortunately, I just drew it the way I saw it, and somehow it looks right. Go figure.

If anybody can tell me why the shadows go from the highlights into the darkest parts so quickly, with the medium tones on either side, I would appreciate it.


Rhinestone purse

June 3, 2012

This is what I drew today. Its an old rhinestone purse that my mother gave me. I never use it, so I was thinking about selling it, but I wanted to check with her first. At first I was just going to photograph it, but for some reason two tasks got crossed in my head [...]

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About Buying Sketchbooks

June 2, 2012

Are you the sort of person who feels like you need to go get something – buy something – before you can begin a new undertaking? For instance, do you feel a strong need to go buy a sketchbook before you can start drawing? Me too. And I did buy a new sketchbook when I [...]

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Skull drawn in one line with “H” pencil

June 1, 2012

This is a skull that I drew today while I was lying on the couch again, too tired to sit up at the table. I may end up drawing a lot of things from the couch. My partner thinks this is the best drawing I’ve done to date. Maybe… not sure. It does not really [...]

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Drawing of the front garden, with a space for new roses

May 29, 2012

I drew this a few minutes ago. I’m trying to build the habit of drawing first thing in the morning. It seems that in the late afternoon and evening, almost anything I try to sketch comes out awful. Not always, but I did five whole pages of bad cat drawings yesterday around four pm until [...]

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Contour study and second drawing of my keys

May 28, 2012

I noticed my keys yesterday, and how interesting they are visually, so I decided to draw them today. Keys are a good subject for a drawing exercise – just about everybody has a set on hand, they are a good size for a detailed drawing, and they usually have a lot of interesting shapes. When [...]

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Toned Ground Exercise

May 26, 2012

This is a very simple drawing exercise that will be helpful for super beginning drawing students. It requires you to pay more attention to shapes than you normally would. The term “toned ground” means that the paper you are drawing on is colored, or “toned”. In drawing and art, a common term for the paper [...]

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Max the bad cat lying on my sketchbook

May 25, 2012

This is a pencil drawing of Max the cat. The very bad cat. He was lying on top of my sketchbook when I came into my office after getting a cup of coffee. I pushed him off (gently), and he just went limp and kind of lolled on the desk a few inches off the [...]

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My office door

May 23, 2012

This is a really simple line drawing that I did for my daily drawing. I was just sitting on my couch, stumped about what to draw, and so I drew this. It came out better than I expected. Its weird how I struggle with finding things to draw, and then all of a sudden I [...]

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