Aby-a-Day – 16 Februari: Finished! Finished at last! (Cartoon Tuesday.

So, you know that Singapura artwork Singapura illustration I was working on?

Noodle_ PaddleboardWIP

Well, today I finished it! And it is of Izaak’s niece, Noodle, the paddleboarding Singapura.

Noodle_Nigel

This is the final version. I’m pretty proud of it. What do you think?

Aby-a-Day – 20 Oktober 2020: A forgotten illustration (Cartoon Tuesday)

I can’t believe I never posted this illustration I did for CFA’s Cat Talk magazine in 2015. I mean, I posted the other Persian illustration I did for Cat Talk! This drawing was done to accompany a reminiscence written by a known Himalayan breeder about the first cat show she attended. I’m a bit proud of this; I found original ads for Minqua Cattery in old Cats magazines to include in the illustration.

This is the article, written by Diane Castor, that my drawing accompanied:

My mother used to laugh and say, “Diane is my Aunt Mame reincarnated”. I used to beam as Aunt Mame was a famous cat lover and I’d nod my head with pleasure to be compared to this wonderful woman who gave me through her genes, my love for cats.

Cat breeders are not born, cat lovers are.

Suffice to say, I spent my young life in search of any cat that just might want to come and live with us. They followed me home, they turned up on our door step, they walked through the snow. Any excuse I could find, I tried. Only to meet the resistance of both my parents. “No cats.” The pestering kept up for years and finally is desperation, my father promised that when I got married and had a home of my own, he would buy any kind of cats I wanted. There, it was finally done and I shut up.

Life inched by and I finally met and married my husband, Bruce in 1960. By February 1961, I was pregnant and we bought our first house and moved from our adult apartment complex to our new home that Spring. The time had come to make the telephone call to my father.

To say that he was surprised was an understatement, but he agreed to the bargain and I found a red tabby Persian Kitten locally and promptly named him Punkin.

In the summer afternoons, I would sit on the sofa with Punkin on my belly and read. As the baby grew, so did Punkin and in late October, Bruce Jr. was born and Punkin was almost an adult. I adored him.

As any young mother knows, a bit of respite from mothering can be very beneficial to her health. In February 1962, Bruce and I decided to take a long weekend in Atlantic City and his mother would come and care for Bruce and Punkin.

Ah, freedom. Saturday morning, it looked like we were going to have to contend with rain. But we were young and willing to chance a walk on the Board Walk. As the rain fell heavier, we ducked into a small card shop and there on the window sill sat a big fat calico spay snuggled in her basket. Naturally, while petting this lovely cat, we engaged the owner in conversation. As we chatted, she told us there was a Cat Show in town in case we wanted to go. I nearly leap out of my high heeled pumps. I most certainly did want to go!

We were on the move and shortly were surrounded by cats and people. It was the most thrilling moment of my life. I was surrounded by cats in cages, on tables, on people’s laps and cats being carried over people’s arms to Judging rings. Cats of all colors and breeds. I didn’t know which way to look first. I was beside myself with joy. My cup runneth over! As we walked the aisles together, I stopped in front of a cage that held the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen! She was standing up with her paws out between the bars. She looked at me with emerald green eyes and I looked at her and my heart fell into her paws. She had to be mine. I opened the cage door and she came directly to me and into my hands. I fell in love as I held her to my heart and murmured into her ear how beautiful she was and now much I loved her. At that moment, we were alone together.

Into this moment of reverie, a hand touched my shoulder and a gentle voice said, “would you mind putting my kitten back into her cage?” My reply was, “but she loves me.”

“I can see that.” This wonderful, kind gentleman was Tom Markinke. We spent all afternoon with Tom talking about Persians. He introduced us to his wife Jane, who was clerking and by the end of Saturday, we knew we would be back the next day.

On Sunday we continued our fledgling friendship. I learned that this kitten I loved was a silver tabby Persian. Her name was Minqua’s Palmyra. I can still see her in my mind’s eye as I write. We did offer the huge sum of $150! I learned that no amount of money could by this lovely little girl as a silver tabby female was extremely rare. Palmyra was not to be mine after all.

We asked Tom to keep us informed as to where they were going to be showing so that we could come and see them again. We parted as solid new friends with a future cemented together.

Over fifty years have passed since this meeting took place. Tom and Jane Martinke have been dead for many years, but I think of them so often for their kindness to a young cat person. Now, looking back, my meeting them was the very first step in learning just how new people should be treated in the Fancy. A loving lesson I have never forgotten. I was finally learning to listen and to learn from those who knew more than I.

They continued to teach and to take us under their wing. We joined the Eastern Tabby-Tortie Club and we were able to meet other well known breeders who also took an interest in our love for the Persian.
We spent a number of years with the Martinkes before we felt comfortable buying a show kitten and in the Spring of 1967, we found just the kitten we wanted to use as our first show male. We finally had our new baby boy and his name was Jumbies Charlie Brown, a brown tabby Persian. Bred by Dr. Judith Stoyle, who was to become our closest friend until her death a few years ago. I miss her terribly.

In the fall of 1968, we registered our Cattery, Playwickey. We were ready to begin our long journey in the Fancy.

Aby-a-Day – 28 Juli 2020: Isn’t it romantic? (Cartoon Tuesday)

This weekend I finished that romantic sketch I did of Lorelai and Io after their (hopefully) romantic weekend.

Rory_&_Io Frame

First I made the heart-shaped art-deco frame using elements I found online. I checked it against the coloured sketch to make sure it was the right proportions, as you can see above. On the frame, I added a glow and a metallic gradient to make the different pieces I used coherent.

Rory_&_IoInk

I wanted to keep the style very 1920’s and simple. This is the ink.

Rory_&_IoInkColour

Then I coloured in the outline.

Rory_&_IoSparkle

You may remember from the drawing I did of Rory as a Vegas showgirl that Procreate has some really fun sparkly brushes. I thought this portrait could use a little sparkle.

Rory_&_IoComplete

After the sparkle was added, I took it to Photoshop and added the red background.

Rory_&_Io glow

I decided not to use my regular fur brushes, because I wasn’t necessarily going for realism on this drawing. I left the colouration flat instead.

Rory_&_IoOilpaint

I then added a pink glow around the happy couple, and applied the oil paint filter.

Rory_&_IoFinal

I’m not 100% happy with it…but I do like it.

Rory_&_IoInk&Colour

As always, I saved the video Procreate saves. I also discovered that it can make a gif of your drawing. I am not sure what I’m going to do with that, but it’ll be a fun thing to play with in the future.

Aby-a-Day – 23 October: “I’m done packing!” (Cartoon Tuesday)

Remember when I posted this sketch? Well, my friend Teresa aksed me for a drawing for an upcoming issue of Cat Talk: “The theme for October is “Homecoming”…as in how to place cats, rehoming cats & those issues, etc…What I’m thinking is something with a cat moving to a new home.”

I remembered the unfinished sketch and sent it to her, asking if it would fit. She did, and so I finished it. I did the outlines in Procreate, and then the colouring and other details in Photoshop. I wish I could remember the original dialogue that I had in mind…but this works.

Aby-a-Day – 28 September: Behind the artwork (Photoshop Friday)

I thought you might be interested in how I create a cartoon. I only rarely ever draw a complete drawing in one go. At least not when I am drawing on paper and scanning the the result.

marlinWIP_IMG_4668

When I draw on paper, I do a sketch and then trace the sketches in ink. I sometimes do more than one trace of the sketch on the inking sheet.

marlinWIP_IMG_4671

Then I assemble the best parts and start colouring.

marlinWIP_IMG_4669

Other bits, like the BBQ grill and the apron, are drawn and assembled on separate layers. But when it’s all assembled, it looks like the image at the top.

marlindoryWIP

The next year, I added Dory. While Marlin is a cream Maine Coon, Dory is a blue Oriental Shorthair. I actually did draw Dory in one go, so her layer is not as exciting.

newmarlinscan

For the newest NEMO iteration of Marlin, I realised I didn’t need to redraw all of Marlin, but only certain parts. Just his head, both arms, and some whiskers. But it worked. And it was so much easier than reinventing the wheel. Thanks to Photoshop, I didn’t have to.

singascan2

The Singapuras were a bit more tricky.

singascan1

I drew each one separately and three of them are complete, stand-alone cats. Only the one in the very back is a partial Singapura.

singascan3

The whiskers were done separately.

Aby-a-Day – 28 August – Marlin meets Singulls (Cartoon Tuesday)

As I have posted, this past weekend was the NEMO CFA show back in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend…but I judged the costume contest, sent a box of Swedish swag for the raffle, and did a new illustration of Marlin for the show catalogue cover.

I was thinking of the seagulls going after the grilling fish…and then I tried to eat something around Izaak.

marlinchef+dory

I also did a new one last year, showing Marlin with Dory, an Oriental Shorthair, which I haven’t shared with you yet, so here it is.

And, in case you are a new reader, here is the original NEMO logo I did and also
the cover illustration for our third show, which had a film and cinema theme.

Aby-a Day – 21 August – Remembering Taz in Cat Talk

My friend Teresa asked me to do an illustration for the CFA newsletter/magazine Cat Talk. Her exact request was, “I need something for the ‘Social Media Smarts’ column. What I’m thinking is someone coming home from the cat show…cat and rosette in hand. He/she is talking to someone else. I’ll provide the type, but what he’ll be saying is ‘he got 3 best allbreed champions, and 100 likes on Facebook.’ (subject matter is about using FB to bring in gate).”

I am not so confident about drawing humans, but I instantly thought of our recently departed Cousin Taz, and used him as the winner. For the rosette, I used a photo Meg took of her Toybob Tommy’s CFF rosette, which had the same wins Teresa had mentioned. I’m pretty proud of the final result…and Meg loves it.

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.