After the other movie-inspired artworks I did, I got to thinking about Pepita, the flying jaguar Alebrije in the Pixar movie Coco.
I could see Pepita as Alfred, so I went with it. I took a different approach with the one; instead of just black line, I used the colours of Pepita to create the outline.
Then, as usual, I did the under colour. But instead of using the smooth airbrush to do the colour, I used an oil-painting brush which gave a very different effect..
Then I did a fur and feather layer. It really made a difference!
This is the combined fur and feather layer.
Then I started working on the background.
This is the final, combined image of Freddy as Pepita. Not only am I pretty proud of this artwork, but I TOTALLY LOVE the lighting on it. And OMG, getting to play with colour was amazing!
Here’s the Procreate video of my drawing process; click on the image to watch it in a new window in Flickr.
Last week, I posted my latest NEMO art project, Marlin eating a fabulous spread of BBQ. Last week, I had gotten as far as the sketch. This week, I finished it, starting, of course, with the ink.
Then, underneath the ink, I laid down the undercolour.
Over the ink, I painted the fur.
Here are the undercolour and fur layers together.
And here’s the completed Marlin.
That was as far as I could get in Procreate. But I almo needed to create a pattern for the bib. I found an image of a New England-style lobster/clam bake bib. It had anchors on it, but I replaced them with Nemo fish. I know, subtle, and I was probably overthinking it, but it’s the little details that make good art.
Then, also in Photoshop, I added details to Marlin’s eyes, silverware, whiskers, and the creases on his bib. You can see them in this close-up.
And here’s the completed Marlin! I am pretty pleased about how it turned out…even though it’s probably going to be printed in greyscale on the catalog cover.
Of course, I also save the video of the inking and colouring in Procreate. Click the image to watch it in a separate windo on Flickr.
Two weeks ago, I posted my drawing of Lorelai as Sisu the last dragon. Well, there’s another creature, sort of an armadillio/pillbug/hedgehog mashup called Tuk Tuk. And in one of the early scenes where he’s a baby, he reacts to a cat in a way that really reminded me of Izaak. this is the first sketch; I liked it so much I was almost going to keep it as the outline, and skip the inking stage.
But I did the ink anyway, just to see how it looked. As it happens, it came out even better than the sketch did!
Next, I filled in the base colours, underneath the ink.
Which looks like this when finished.
Then, over the ink, I did the shell and fur textures. This is just the textures…
…this is with ink…
…and finally, with the undercolour.
Add some whiskers and eyeshine, and we’re ready to go into Photoshop.
I added the hand and the background there, along with a bit more eye details. But there was one more thing I wanted to do.
Finally, I added some lighting effects. I really like the way this one turned out!
And here’s a video of the Procreate process, which you can watch in Flickr. There are a LOT of layers on this one – fifteen in total!
We finally got to see Raya and the Last Dragon on Disney+, and I was absolutely mesmerised by the dragon Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina. She reminded me so much of Lorelai that I had to draw her as the dragon. Here is my first sketch.
Followed up by the ink outline.
I did colour layers both underneath and over the ink outline, and then covered up some of the black lines with matching colours.
This is the finished Procreate drawing, sans background, before shifting to Photoshop.
Add a background and some outer glow on some of the layers…and here is the finished piece.
As always, here’s the video of the Procreate drawing process. Click on the image to watch the video in Flickr.
The other day, Björn and I watched a movie I bought ages ago to have enough to get free shipping and then completely forgot about: Une Vie de Chat – A Cat in Paris. It’s a French film about a cat named Nico who leads a double life: Cat burglar’s partner by night, little girl’s adored companion by day.
It’s a marvelous movie, with suspense, intrigue, pathos and humour. But what struck me most was this one cat during the opening credits.
Kind of looks like an Abyssinian, don’t you think? At least the colour is spot on.
Whilst the plot definitely holds your interest…it’s the art that really captivates. It looks like hand-drawn colour pencil drawings, and the way it’s done, the colouring is constantly moving. It’s kind of mesmerising. We watched the dubbed version, and the English voices are a nice mix of British and American; it’s better than most dubbing jobs. If you can find it, it’s a great cat-themed film, showing that cats can be loyal and love their humans.
There’s a fun meme going around that involves a simple line drawing of a cat’s head and four paws, captioned “Complete this cat for the laughs.” Well. I like cats, and laughing, so sure!
As a warm-up, I did this silly sketch of two cats dancing.
Then, I decided to play with colours and brushes, so I drew Jacoby in his parka.
Painting fur was fun, so I decided to paint some feathers. I also made the kitty a little happier. Silly, maybe…but any excuse to draw, right?
Last weekend, we watched an amazing movie called Isle of Dogs. It’s a Wes Anderson film, which I find rather hit-or-miss, but I did like his first stop-motion animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it looked intriguing, so we gave it a shot. And, oh, was it worth it!
For a movie with the word “dog” in the title, it was actually, surprisingly, quite focused on cats. It’s an interesting Japanese pastiche in which the cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi has banished all dogs to Trash Island. In the introduction to the film this is all explained with some beautiful illustrations and scenes. My favourite, which is only seen for a minute or so, is the incredibly elaborate Cat Temple (seriously, look at that link; they did an incredible amount of work to create something that’s basically only one scene)! Of course, I instantly noticed the five cat statues to the right of the temple doors…one large, one tiny, two medium-sized and one small. I had to pause it and point out how the five cats matched our own five!
And then…I had to draw it. This is the sketch…
And here’s the ink. Covid aftereffects have really been kicking my butt this week, so it took me a while. I know where I want to go with this, and how I want the colouring to look, but it’s taking me longer to actually do it than I planned.
If you want to see the time lapse video of the work in progress, click the image to open it in another window.
I have been working on the drawing of Kiipi and her kitten.
This is the ink outline with the base colour filled in.
Without the ink, the colour alone has a rather neat “paint by numbers” effect.
And here is the ink, colour and shadows. I just need to add the fut texture and background, and this one is finished!
The other day I was reminded of the “Cat Pack” of 2013. They included Strollercat (of course), Rosie and Louis, my friend Kathy’s two Abys; Jafari the jogging cat, my friend Christopher’s Aby; and, of course, Jacoby’s cousin Toki Nantucket, my friend Julie’s supermodel Aby. I did a little sketch of the famous cohort.
2009 was a good year for Abyssinians.
So, you know that Singapura artwork Singapura illustration I was working on?
Well, today I finished it! And it is of Izaak’s niece, Noodle, the paddleboarding Singapura.
This is the final version. I’m pretty proud of it. What do you think?
Back in 2014, I drew the cartoon above based on a photo and caption a Facebook friend of mine, Mike Ruemmler posted in the old Abyssinian Cat Club. Sadly, we all learned that Mike was found dead in his home last week. My friend Kristen posted to the New England Abyssinian Rescue page:
“Sad news for our NEAR family and the larger community of Aby owners. Last night we learned that our dear friend, Mike Ruemmler, passed away over the weekend.
Mike fostered and transported several Abys for us. He foster-failed one of our seniors because he couldn’t bear the thought of putting her through another transition. I once sent him on a grand overnight adventure to transport an Aby only to have the owner change her mind at the last minute. He worried about that Aby as much as I did. A year later that same Aby came into rescue after the owner had placed her in a bad home. If I asked for help, he said yes without hesitation.
If you were friends with Mike, you often received a cat meme in your mailbox to brighten your day. Mike retired last Fall and seemed to be making the most of everyday, even in these trying times. He was dedicated to his cats and friends. A wonderful person who will be deeply missed.
NEAR’s Max, Lucy, Pele, and Ellie were all saved through Mike’s help. Give them a chin scratch or two if they are in your home today.
Mike left behind 4 Abys. A friend of Mike’s quickly took the cats in and contacted us for help. The cats are safe and being appropriately spoiled. Now we need to begin finding the right homes for these special Abys.
Gregor and Soska are 11 year-old male litter mates. They will be placed together.
Pop-Tart is a red female. We are waiting on vet records to confirm her age.
She can be placed with Gregor and Soska or on her own. She would do best in a home with a limited number of cats and no other females.
Pele is the red female Mike adopted from us. She is 16 and doesn’t readily accept other cats.
All of Mike’s cats were spoiled, loved, and received veterinary attention whenever needed. They are in St. Louis, MO. We will only consider adopters who can physically pick these cats up.
If you are interested in any of these cats, please submit an application: www.neabyrescue.com/application
Mike, I picture you in a beautiful garden reunited with many of your feline family members. You will be fondly remembered and forever missed.”
I really enjoyed his posts about his cats. Once again, my heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today.
This is by no means a cartoon, but I wanted to share this ethereal watercolour of Bugsie that was done by her friend Arlven Leonardor. I think it captures Bugsie’s spirit perfectly.
I have done a bunch of new ideas, but now it’s time to finish old projects. This sketch and ink from 2018 really needs to be finished. I started today, and here is the base colour. Then my iPad needed charging…stay tuned.
One of the bright spots of quarantining has been Disney+. I’ve been watching all sorts of movies and shorts, one of which was Tangled: The Series. It’s set between the events of the original Tangled movie and the short Tangled Ever After. I had no idea this series existed, and binge-watched it over the last few weeks. I was intrigued with the art style in the series. And then, I saw the episode The Way of the Willow…featuring an odd little creature called Üumlaut. Well…when I saw Üumlaut and her rattle, I knew what had to be done. So here is Üumzak.
And, because I know some of you like to watch the process, here’s the Procreate video (click on the image to view it in Flickr). The only things I did in Photoshop were straightening the Üumzak and creating the shadow on the rattle. This was actually more of a challenge than it looks; borderless characters are harder to do than you’d think, and I learned how to do a couple of new things in Photoshop. Still, I think I captured the style of the series pretty well.
It’s finished! I finally finished Dashiell Hamilton! It was a real process, too. But as I mentioned last week, I got a new Paperlike screen protector for my iPad, and it makes drawing on the screen so much more natural and organic. In fact, I did most of this in Procreate. Only the last few bits were done in Photoshop.
And the very first bit. I started with a photo of the suit and a photo of Dash in Photoshop. Then I went to Procreate and did the sketches.
Getting the suit just right was my biggest challenge. It took five layers to make it look the way I wanted it to. I did two base colour layers in Procreate, and a low-opacity layer of the actual suit (done in Photoshop) to add the sheen and texture. Then the ink layer was moved above the colour layers. Finally, I discovered a lace brush in Procreate, which was perfect for his sleeves and cravat.
Dash himself was a little easier, because…well, I’ve done more ruddy Abyssinians than I’ve done 18th century emerald-green silk suits. All layers except the top fur texture layer were done on the iPad.
Put all the layers together, along with the whiskers and a little shadow, and put him onstage…and, finally, history has its eyes on Dash!
And, just because I can, I saved the video of the whole Procreate process for anyone who’s interested. Click on the above image to watch the magic happen in Flickr.
Okay. Now, I know these aren’t cartoons. But I have been working on colouring Dashiell Hamilton every day. I want to get the green of his suit just right, and it’s taking a lot longer than I thought…and I haven’t even started on colouring Dash himself! I am trying to do as much as I can in Procreate…but yesterday I got a new Paperlike screen protector, and let me tell you, it is a game changer! It really feels like I’m drawing on real paper, and it is so much better than drawing on glass. Even though it’s digital, it still feels organic. I’ve also ordered a set of Pen Tips, which should also improve the drawing experience. While Paperlike and Pen Tips ship worldwide, they are based in Germany and the Netherlands respectfully, so I don’t have to pay any import taxes!
Since Dash-Ham isn’t finished enough to post an update, I’m sharing some Christmas cards I’ve received. The above card arrived today from my Sverak club AbSolut Kattklubb. That is one lovely blue Somali.
This card came a couple of days ago from my friend Donna in Massachussetts. I think these Birmans are adorable. At least, I think they’re Birmans…hard to tell when you can’t see their feet!
This cute little Siamese postcard came today, also from Donna. I love that she keeps sending me postcards…it’s nice to have physical notes from friends sometimes, especially during a pandemic.
I finally got the ink layer done on my Dashiell Hamilton drawing.
But, since I wanted a thin ink line, it’s not very visible, so in Photoshop, I added a stroke to the lines to make it more visible. Now it’s time for colours and textures!
Well…I woke up this morning full of ambition to work on my Dashiell-xander Hamilton drawing, only to have a Facebook friend post the minifigure she made on Hero Forge.
So, you know I had to make one, too.
Annnnnd…I spent most of my afternoon creating what I would look like as my dream player character. Well, it’s kind of like drawing a cartoon…a 3D cartoon.
Basically, you can create pretty much any character you can imagine (with a few limitations).
Of course I made myself as a humanoid feline (or, if you prefer, a felinoid human) with a cute skirt, lots of jewellery, a pen and an iPhone.
Yes, that is a PEN, and yes, I know what it kind of looks like. And she has an iPhone because they didn’t have a laptop as an option.
Maple leaves are scattered on the maple-wood flooring, of course.
The interface on the website is super awesome. You can look at your character from virtually any angle. Cool, right?
You can purchase your character 3D-printed in full colour for $44.99, but the colours aren’t quite as vibrant as they are in the creator.
Still…I think it’s pretty cool. I’m getting one!
Just an idea that popped into my head this morning…Izaak as Pixie, and Joe Biden’s Shepherd Major as Brutus. I used a Pixie and Brutus fan art by DiviantArt user Space Meme Stardust as my reference for the first rough sketch.
Because my new MacBook Pro hasn’t arrived yet, and because I hated the hand-drawn speech bubbles, I turned on my laptop for a few minutes just to add them (and my signature) in Photoshop.
I also saved the video of my drawing process, just for fun (ie, because Procreate lets me). Click on the image to watch it on Flickr.
I was downtown today, and, on a whim, I thought I would check out the bookstore in the mall, and something caught my eye.
There was a table where children could draw, and then a tree where they could hang their drawings. I almost didn’t take a photo of this drawing, but I remembered my motto: “The only photo you regret is the one you didn’t take.” So here is an adorable drawing of a kitty done by a random Swedish child.