Do you ever watch those Youtube videos of people making cat paintings and they have these amazing luminous eyes and look like a photograph? They fascinate me – how what they are using – soft pastels – which are dusty and chalky, can turn into something with a luminous quality. So I sat at my dining table and I attempted to try it myself. I dusted off my set of Derwent Pastels (bought in Melbourne in 1994!) and had a go. The paper is wrong since I couldn’t find the pastelmat I know I have somewhere and the pastels are old but I spent three hours or so just adding tiny marks of pastel until I had something that sort of resembled my old kitty girl Miss P and it was a very meditative experience.
Here she is in her youth as a young kitty full of fun and energy…
This is her in her old age napping in the sun.
I think the eye area does look a lot like her and the nose, but the rest of the face is wrong somehow. Still it was an enjoyable way to pass the time and I will definitely try it again, maybe a whole face this time or a whole cat, if I can find the larger paper.
This is how I started, the paper is A5 size. I’m using white because the paper is dark but also because it’s easier to change mistakes.
Then I added the black bits and it started to look more like a cat.
I added more marks, I probably would have been better off if I had blocked a lot of it in black first but well, hindsight and all that.
It looks too freaky with the eyes not done, so I had to do those next.
Ah so much better! It might be a bit wonky but at least it looks like a cat lol.
I really like how her nose turned out, it looks just like hers. A little terracotta nose surrounded by black to match her paws.
I took more photos in the daylight as it was getting dark when I took those ones above.
paper, soft pastels
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