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 sketchbook. He kept putting his tail on the paper while I was drawing this.
This came out okay. I really like how his eye turned out – its so nice when the lines fall in place the first time you put them down. His tail I had to re-do twice, but it looks pretty good now. I got his hips a bit wrong, and they still look a little off. He also has a funny udder-like paunch on his belly. His sister’s is even worse… she looks a little bit like a cow… we sometimes call her “moo-moo kitty”. She does not appreciate the name at all.
I have been doing contour exercises, and actually did the exercise where you move your notebook out of site and draw about one square inch of your palm and the lines in your palm just before I drew this. I think it helped me get the front leg tucked under his chest looking right.
I probably should have taken out the line that’s near his left shoulder… its the one that makes his main body shape into a modified pear shape. The drawing would look a lot better without it. I also should/could have made his far shoulder a bit larger – there was a definite mound shape there that I wanted to show, and the line that’s showing it now was the first one I drew – could/should have gone back and reworked that to look a little more accurate.
All in all, though, its okay. I had one of those usual panics while I was drawing it, thinking “d—, I can’t draw cats at all. How I am supposed to be doing a drawing site if I s— so much? This is awful. And then I just kept with it and reminded myself that this could be a sacrificially bad drawing. Those do happen. I draw a lot more now that I just let myself do awful drawings.
Max, by the way, is wearing the collar so he’ll have less luck killing things. He wanders in and out of the house during the day (not at night… we have great horned owls around here, and they can do unspeakable things to little kitties in the blink of an eye). He’s a hunter. He also likes to bring things into the house. I find a loose lizard somewhere in the house at least once a week that I have to capture and then release.
Yesterday he really took the cake, though. He jumped in through the window in my office, just over my shoulder, with a live bluebird in his mouth. I was working on my computer, and he very nearly landed on my elbow. I see the bluebird, yell his name (the poor bluebird, as if it was not traumatized enough), sit up to grab him, knocking my computer on the floor, get a hold of his shoulders with my left hand, and then brace the bottom of his jaw with my right, and then move the left hand around to secure the bluebird so she won’t fly away, lose in the house (this has happened before with mice). I get the bluebird in hand, Max pinned on the couch, and then put my hand back out the window and let the bluebird go. She dropped about two feet to the ground, but then fluttered up and got into the apple tree. Her mate was right there, and they flew off into the larger willow tree a few feet away. Max was grounded – housebound – for the rest of the day. My computer is fine… at least so far.
Like I said, he’s a bad cat.