Cats: Drawing and Painting

I drew this last week, copied from a card, using pencils and pens. It’s made me keen to try painting/sketching our cat Heidi. She’s white so I’ll have to use coloured paper, or a coloured background.

I looked for help in this beautiful book:

 Cats: Drawing and Painting in Watercolour by Lesley Fotherby. This is what she has to say about drawing white cats on white paper:

You can’t paint the cat in white, so you have to paint the background and leave the cat to show up against it, ie look at the negative shape, paint that in and the positive image will appear. (page 96)

I’ve tried negative painting before and didn’t find it easy. She also suggests using pencil and paint and to illustrate the technique shows this painting:

There is so much in this book, from using different materials, paper and techniques  to showing how to depict movement and markings and composition. I’m going to study it and have a go.

Previously when I’ve posted photos of my sketches some people have commented that they wish they could draw. I can only endorse what Lesley Fotherby writes in this book:

Many people feel that being able to draw is a gift and that either you can draw or you can’t. It is true that some will find it easier than others, but in fact drawing is a skill which can be learnt like any other. As with other skills, it can only improve with practice, so do not be discouraged if your first efforts are unsatisfactory. …

Learning to draw is a bit like learning to swim: you can stand on the side of the pool and listen to a lecture, or you can jump in, wearing your lifejacket of course, and feel the element around you. Then you understand what they are all talking about. (page 8)

Saturday Snapshot

Heidi’s new bed –

We bought this little bed yesterday and deliberately didn’t attempt to put Heidi in it or even to show it to her because cats are fussy creatures and like to find places to sleep for themselves. So we just left it on the worktop in the utility room, where she likes to sit and this morning this is where I found her. I’m so glad she likes it.

For more Saturday Snapshots see Alyce’s blog At Home with Books.

Saturday Snapshot

We’ve had lots of rain recently, which Heidi doesn’t like. Yesterday she looked out of the cat flap and then settled down on the mat to wait for the rain to stop.

Is she going out? It looks like it, but no – she sticks her paw out and its still raining!

Back to the mat!

Just in case you think she was banished to the mat – it was her own choice. Later in the day, whilst it was still raining she made herself comfy on the sofa, with a handy cushion for her head.

She’s not as sweet as she looks because first thing in the morning I was greeted by feathers in the kitchen! But all was well as the baby bird had managed to escape by hiding on the windowsill and flew away when D rescued it.

For more Saturday Snapshots see Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

Saturday Snapshot

Heidi asleep

About four weeks ago I posted a photo of our new arrival. Since then she’s settled in well, after a period of hiding on top of wardrobes and anywhere out of sight. We’ve renamed her Heidi, because of that. She knows her name and comes running when we call her.

She’s not really allowed on the furniture, but she’s tired out after a session in the garden hunting for mice and there plenty out there for her. She brought a dead one in this morning. I wish she wouldn’t bring them in, but she’s proud of her catch.

See more Saturday Snapshots on Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

Saturday Snapshot – our newest arrival!

We went to get the car MOT’d yesterday. Whilst we were waiting we walked down the road a little way to the Animal Rescue Kennels – just to have a look, you know. Actually we’d been thinking about going there for months, but yesterday was the day. And look who came home with us:

She’s two years old and a little timid and camera shy at the moment, but I managed to take this picture. Whitie, that’s the name she knows, so I think we’ll carry on calling her that – she comes when you call her name, is sitting where Lucy used to sit – on the computer room windowsill. Lucy died a year last January and it’s taken us this long to feel it’s right to get another cat. She’s seems to be settling quite well.

Here she is deciding whether to sit down or not – she did and she’s sitting there now as I type.

Here’s another photo – taken last night in the kitchen:

No doubt there’ll be a few more photos soon.

For more Saturday Snapshots go to Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

Saturday Snapshot

Here are a couple of photos taken in December 2010 when we were snowbound. I came into the kitchen early one morning and there on the decking outside was this little mouse, eating the bread we had put out for the birds:

There were actually three mice climbing all over and round the back of the loaf nibbling it. I wasn’t the only one interested. Lucy came to the patio door and wanted to go out for a closer look.

See more Saturday Snapshots on Alyce’s blog, At Home With Books.


Farewell Lucy

Last night our little cat, Lucy died. She was nearly 17 and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism two years ago. Since then she did improve and coped with us moving house at the end of 2009. For a while it seemed she had a new lease of life, enjoying the garden and its wildlife. Last week she stopped eating and just declined. The vet said she had a growth in her stomach and an enlarged heart.

She was a wonderful companion, who stayed by our side like a dog, even wanting to come on walks with us. I’ve written many blog posts about her and have many photos that I’m going to bring together as a set on Flickr. Here are just a few of our favourites.

She often sat with me when I was blogging, sometimes on the windowsill and more often right in front of the keyboard whilst I was trying to type.


This is a painting of her by our friend John.

She is sadly missed!

Sunday Scene – More Snow

We woke up this morning to yet more snow, as in most of Britain.

The birds were flocking to the feeders – which now need replenishing. Today the woodpecker stayed long enough for me to take some photos.

The tits are bolder and come up onto the decking outside the kitchen.

This one landed in the snow and nearly sank.

Lucy, who hasn’t ventured outside since the snow first came at the end of November, sits and watches the birds as they come near the window.

This is what she wished she could catch