Aby-a-Day – 14 August: Pining for the fjords (Cartoon Tuesday)

Whilst working on a new project for the upcoming NEMO show, I came across an old drawing I did for Iris five years ago for the National Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Club’s show catalogue (the show was around Columbus Day, as I recall). I’d forgotten all about it, but considering where I live now, it was too funny not to share.

wegieship-colour

Seeing it again also reminded me that I had always wanted to colour it. So, it being a rainy Tuesday, I figured, what the heck?

Aby-a-Day – 7 August: Hela familjen (Cartoon Tuesday)

Björn’s daughter Emma came to visit us this past weekend, and she presented each of us with this drawing of all the cats. She’s just turned eight years old and is getting a bit clever: she only did one drawing and gave me, Björn and Kalle each a photocopy, saying it was “easier than doing three different drawings”!

Aby-a-Day – 31 July: You’re never done learning (Cartoon Tuesday)

I am endlessly amazed at how popular the Warriors series is in Germany and Holland. I mean, it’s way more popular than it is in the UK or the States. If you search Amazon.de, you can find all sorts of Warriors merchandise.

Look at all this! Sticky notes, badges, notebooks, gloves…I have the laptop stickers and I love them. You can’t get any of this on the other Amazons (.com and .uk.co), trust me. I looked.

Because I order my (English) Warriors books from Amazon.de, they send me emails when new Warriors items are released. Usually, they’re translations of the series books in German, but a few weeks ago they sent me an email about an interesting book entitled Warrior Cats – Katzenzeichnen: Von den Grundformen bis zur Clankatze (Warrior Cats – Cat Drawing: From Basic to Clan Cat).

Now, I have been drawing cats for over 50 years, and apparently I’m pretty good at it, since people like the drawings I do. But this book is amazing, even for someone like me. Because you can always learn more drawing techniques. Look at the instruction on drawing paws (well, hands, if you’re doing Abys).

The book goes into great detail about all aspects of cat life, and it even has blank pages for you to practice on. Unfortunately for me, it’s in German, and it’s a translation of the original publication…in Dutch. So there is no English edition of this book yet. Considering that the original books were English, it’s a bit interesting that the Germans and Dutch have taken to the cats so much that they’re coming up with all kinds of original items and books that aren’t available in English!

Izaak Sketch

Using some of the book’s recommendations, I did this sketch of Izaak. What do you think?

Aby-a-Day – 24 July: Showtime! (Cartoon Tuesday)

The other day, we were talking about Lorelai being “our little showgirl.” Next thing I knew, I couldn’t get the image of her as a classic Las Vegas showgirl out of my head. I recently discovered an awesome application for drawing on the iPad called Procreate. It’s meant to work with Pencil, and while it takes a little getting used to, it works incredibly well. Most importantly (to me, anyway), it uses layers. I need to have layers to draw the way I want to.

Rory_Showgirl_sketch

First, I need to do a pencil sketch. I sketched this over the reference I found online.

Rory_Showgirl_ink

Then I hide the reference and ink over the sketch. When the sketch layer is hidden, the ink looks like this.

Rory_Showgirl_colour

Then, using various brushes, I colour Rory in underneath the ink layer. This is important to preserve the outline. The colouring was actually done on three layers and merged. As I colour, I go back to the ink layer and erase bits and redraw them as needed.

Rory_Showgirl_flash

Finally, I add a top layer with a little sparkle and flash…and whiskers. I always do my whiskers on a top layer. The finished Procreate drawing is at the top of this post.

Rory_Showgirl_white

The only thing is, I have some amazing feather and fur brushes in Photoshop. So when the drawing was finished on the iPad, I exported it to my Mac. Now, what’s really cool about Procreate is, you can export drawings as .PSD files, which preserves all the layers. So I worked with my fur and feather brushes and touched up the colouring a bit…

Rory_Showgirl_

…and, then, just for fun, gave her a Vegas show stage as a background.

Rory_Showgirl_shadowglow

Finally, because the red in her outfit blends in with the red curtains onstage, I modified the layer style, adding some glow and a little drop shadow, and this is the final result.

Aby-a-Day – 17 July: Cats of the World (Cartoon Tuesday)

Okay, technically not a cartoon, but you may remember when I took Alfred to Anicura to say goodbye to Logan, I mentioned the “Cats of the World” poster hanging in the cat waiting room.

Here’s the Abyssinian…he looks grumpy, like Jacoby. The ears seem a bit small, though.

They illustrated the red Abyssinian separately. Again, the eyes and ears seem small. They didn’t include the other Aby colours.

The Somalis were included on the poster together. Again, they don’t look quite like Somalis, do they?

Last but not least, we have the mighty Singapura! Of all the drawings, I think they caught the Singa best of all.