Our Library

Here’s an example of how I go from conceptual sketch to final painting. This piece is titled Our Library and was done as a Christmas present for a friend with two cats. The cats are named Casper and Peekaboo, are great buddies, and — strangely enough — are almost completely identical.


Illustrating the unique qualities and similarities of these two cats is always a challenge. For this piece, I first decided on an appealing setting — a warm, comfortable sitting room — then divided the space and modified the poses, palette, and compositional elements to individuate the subjects. (If you compare the sketch to the final piece, you’ll see that an awful lot of detail work was done after the concept stage; this is perfectly fine if you’re confident in your ability to fill empty space with interesting things.)


Note all the artifacts in the background! Like most cats, these two are often occupied with adventure. One wonders what stories are associated with such a diverse collection.


4 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. em,

    see, the problem now is if i comment on FB the comments aren’t automatically imported back here. which they should be.

    those boys are TWINS! littermates.

  2. Kate,

    Ahh… so genius.

    Also, is that a mug-shot of a mouse??

  3. ratchetcat,

    @em – True. I thought Peek or Casper had some mark on his forehead which wasn’t present on the other, though?

    @Kate – Thanks! (Yes, indeed! That is the mug-shot of “Squeaky Jack” — so-named for the old dodgy shoes which more than once have led to his capture. He is a stubborn sentimentalist. These two cats made his acquaintance in the course of a recent investigation involving both a fortune in high-yield cheese bonds and the British crown jewels.)

  4. em,

    ok, see, Peekaboo *used* to have a grey smudge on the back of his head but it has faded with time and now you’d have to look very, very closely to see a few dark hairs there.