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The Day of “Persil” the Blue Eyed Cat



It’s been a while since I’ve produced a cat artwork so today’s project made a nice change.

Since the launch of the Art-Marco web site I’ve been busy with both charcoals and watercolours. So today was an opportunity to hone my skills on cat fur in charcoal. I found this image on the internet, which appears to be license free, and fits the project exactly. For ease I’m going to call her “Persil” it takes to long to keep typing “ the blue eyed cat”


Step 1 Planning & Objectives

The first decision is what paper? Am I going to work on white or grey cartridge paper?

With fur like this I decided to use Frisk 150g White Cartridge Paper, so in effect I will be working in reverse. Why Frisk? Because I was going to work the paper quite hard and I know the Frisk surface can take it. The challenge was to work out how to keep the white areas of fur whilst creating a fur like softness and texture. However I remember watching, some years back now, a tutorial by Colin Bradley, who was one of the first artists to use Fabre Castel Pitt Pastel Pencils. Colin used to add a white pastel base layer, even on white paper, before laying on his coloured pastels which gave him many blending options. I wondered if, as I was working with charcoal, I could borrow the idea and on "Persil", start by highlighting some of the white fur areas with a white charcoal first. That way, when I needed to lift off the charcoal powder with a tombo eraser, it would be easier to recover a bright white finish. Using Kohi-Noor white charcoal pencil therefore I highlighted those areas first before then adding the fine charcoal powder over the top. Sure enough the lighter patches of fur were easily recovered, thank you Colin. Something else I rarely use is hard charcoal, in pencil or block form, but today without it, I was never going to get the fur definition I needed.


Persil the blue eyed cat end of Day 1

So here we are at the end of Day 1. I've had to stop as I need time to review and will add the detail tomorrow.

I can already see the modifications necessary. My art critic has also spotted them. "Its a cat of two faces" Its not balanced and I have to admit Chris, my wife, is correct. If you don't know what she means just cover up one side of the face and then the other and you will see!



Day2. The sun is shining and I've had an opportunity to review yesterday's artwork.

Chris is right it is a cat of two faces, so this morning the trusty eraser has been at work as well as a mixture of hard and soft pencils and here she is the finished lady.






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