Digital Drawing - Cat

I mean really? Did I last post here 11 months ago? How did that happen? At least I have drawn since then! ;) Not as much as I would have liked to, that is true, but still...
Anyhow after a very busy fall, we finally came to the Christmas season and I was so ready for doing something else and refreshing. I was poking around in threads over at Wetcanvas and decided to check out their image library for a reference for a fun play-with-fabric idea that I have. And then this image of a kitty just stole my heart and demanded that I 'do something' with it.
So I broke out my ArtRage art programme (that sounds dramatic but you get the idea) on the computer and got busy.....aaaahhhhh that is just what I needed.

But let me show you some pictures of what and how. I posted this within one of the groups I belong to on Facebook. A bunch of artists I have known for many years, but I thought some other folks may be interested to see this too.

The pictures shown here are all 'Work in Progress' pictures !

 First off my desktop while I'm working. It shows the piece I'm working on in the center. The reference picture is pinned to the left. The rest of the goodies is explained below.

Bottom left corner :

A closer look at the toolbox

and the right hand side of my workspace:

A closer look at what is on the right -

And a closer look at my 'box of pencils' These are the colours (about one third visible to you) that I have selected to work with on this project. This custom set of colours are saved with my picture and becomes available as I open up the file to work on it. It is like having a cup with selected colour pencils sitting on my desk. I can name the colours as I like. Several which you cannot see are labelled 'nose' and 'eye' for example.

I start work by laying in a block of colour, most suited to the final fur colours, in this case a grey with a touch of green. I then change my pencil to a harder lead (see the preset in the second image above) and start adding many layers of 'fur' strokes in various colours to build up the fur.

The image below is a little blurry, the strokes don't show so well but the colours do

For the eye, I burnished the colour to get a glass like effect. On paper I would use a burnishing pencil or a light colour pencil, but in ArtRage I use the palette knife to 'smear blend' the colours to get the desired effect. The paper grain remains visible too. The darkest colour around the eye (still incomplete here) is build up out of consecutive layers of colours (dark red green blue brown and a wash of black)

I added several colours in many lights layers to build up the nose. Here still a ways away from being finished.
In ArtRage you have the option to 'hide' any of the bits and pieces on the desktop at any time while working. So if you're not using a tool or preset, you can move it off the desk. Below I have only the piece I'm working on and the reference picture on the desk. I also zoomed right in so I can see the details of what I'm doing (my eyes really appreciate this feature!) And of course the pencil in my hand that I'm drawing with. The click of a button brings all the other tools back for me, making it super easy change colours and even tools if I need to. ArtRage is very intuitive and working in it with colour pencil is little different from working on paper with pencils.

At the time of posting this, the cat is awaiting final tweaking, but I don't think it will change that much. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

And now of course I want to dive back in and draw some more...but first I need to clean the house! ;-) Drawing always works better in a clean environment!

Ps I used Ashampoo's 'Snap 4' to capture and label the screen shots for this post. The current version is 'Snap 6'

And a quick edit on December 30, to add the final image! Whoot!

EDITED TO ADD : Prints in various sizes, as well as cards and throw pillows, are now available for this image HERE


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