In which I talk about the joys of painting, drawing, knitting, cats, music, living in London, and whatever else takes my fancy.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Life goes on: drawing black cat Poppy

Thanks to sorrow over Toby's passing, another lengthy absence from my blog, although I have not been idle, just quiet while Poppy and I got used to life without him.  Here she is:

 Thanks to Nick Spence for the photo of her.

The evening of the day that Toby died, I went out to see an inspirational demonstration of digital drawing apps and tools for the iPad (and ipod touch - I don't yet have an ipad!) given by Jeremy Sutton at the Apple Store. It was very helpful learning basics like how to save an image and open it in another app.  I quickly realised that I might enjoy using the apps Auryn Ink and Brushes, and noted Jeremy's recommendation of the Adonit Jet Pro stylus for drawing. He mentioned, too, that David Hockney had developed his skills with Brushes by emailing a digital drawing of a flower each morning to his friends.
All of this information gave me a idea: I'd start the fresh page in life without Toby by learning to draw digitally.

Luckily for me, and thanks to Nick, I already had Brushes installed on my ipod touch, and the use of a Jet Pro stylus, so in bed the next morning with my first coffee of the day, I made this drawing:

which I emailed to Nick, and Instagramed (I am Dragonflyclef on Instagram). I felt suffiiciently encouraged to download Auryn Ink, too, which I wanted to use as an underpainting tool, to mimic my real life watercolour painting practice of blocking all the colours in pale washes first.  I also decided to use Poppy as a model, since she is always on the bed first thing and it would be a fun challenge to draw a velvety black cat from life! So, here is the first underpainting:

and finished drawing with Brushes on top:
I've made a drawing of Poppy most days since, and am pleased with my growing confidence in drawing digitally,  now that making all the tool adjustments to create the quality of line and colour I want is becoming intuitive rather than something I have to think about.  It is also very satisfying to see my developing skill in drawing a black cat - noting how her shiny fur picks up light and colours from her surroundings which create the definition of her form! Here is a more recent one:

and finally for this blog post, a bit of fun using a photo app to convert my digital drawing of Poppy into a record album cover:

So, life goes on.

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