Kitty Cat Illustration

I have been living with a cat now for a month now. As a dog person, this was a little jarring for me at first. But I am after all an animal lover, and so despite my reluctance, I have grown to adore her.

Nova is a persistently vocal chocolate point Burmese, with a passion for human contact and attention. If a person is within three feet of her, she will purr. Loudly. She will follow you from room to room, meowing until you pick her up and cuddle her. If your hands are full, she will settle for sitting on your shoulders, slowly creeping down your back until you realise you are bent double just to accommodate her.IMG_4024

I’m not going to lie; she’s grown on me. Like most people, I love a cuddle with a fluffy animal, and she is nothing if not cuddly. It’s really nice to have some company in the studio when I’m working alone. And the fact that she meows all the time means that there is a chance I might look less weird when I have conversations with myself.

nova

fabric pocket catI’ve been meaning to draw a new cat design for my Etsy shop a while now. Taking five minutes out for a cup of tea and cuddle with the kitty, I began doodling in my sketchbook. It wasn’t a sketch of Nova – although if anything is inspired by her, it is the cat in my Owl and Pussy Cat illustration. This new cat illustration bore more similarities to the cat I had when I was a child – the stray tortoiseshell we found in the bins, who was sturdy, cheeky, and self-assured. She made it perfectly clear to us that, although we had rescued her, she had decided stayed with us because of convenience and not because she liked us. You had to really work for the affection she gave you. She was full of character, and I can remember only a handful of times where she had ever deemed me worthy enough to sit upon, and each time I dared not move for fear of sharp claws digging into my lap.

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All of my illustrations start out as pencil sketches, which are then re-drawn in a larger size in my sketchbook or on a sheet of cartridge paper. I ink over the drawing using a uniball black pen, or for smaller scale images a unipin. (These are great because they are waterproof, fade proof and go over the paper really nicely!) After rubbing out the pencil lines, I start to colour. If I’m colouring by hand I’ll work with water-colour, adding a first wash of colour, and once that has dried going over again with less water in the mix, to get the bright colours I adore. Once the painting is complete the whole image gets scanned into my trusty laptop for some neatening up on Photoshop, before getting printed out for transferring onto fabric goodies.

cat tote bag close upI really love the unusual markings that occur on tortoiseshell cats, and so drawing the face of this kitty cat was very satisfying. I love the cheeky expression on its face! After finishing off the colouring, it didn’t take long for this design to make its way onto my tote bags, pocket mirrors, and key rings available in my Etsy shop.  They are already prooving popular, and it makes me so happy to see these little guys being sent off to new homes with crazy cat lovers!

cat keyring 2

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