Since I started this little art blog at the end of January, I've been drawing monthly illustrations of my cat Hedwig for a series I call 'Cat Advice'. Every month, there's a new motive with a couple of wise words courtesy of my cat.
Based on those cat illustrations I create both printable calendars and desktop wallpapers for my newsletter subscribers.
I love drawing animals, but after finishing a couple of children's picture books over the last two years that featured animal characters, I rarely have a 'reason' to draw them. Like portrait drawings, they get lost among commission art and new Etsy projects.
After noticing that I couldn't for the life of me draw a cat without reference, this series seemed like the perfect idea to experiment and practice. As mentioned, I use Hedwig as a model for these drawings - but already I feel a lot more confident in my understanding of cat anatomy and poses.
Hopefully, I'll be able to draw cats without reference after a couple more months!
Of course, the drawings aren't all that realistic. There's a hint of comic art style and abstraction. But even 'unrealistic' drawings require a basic understanding of what the real animal looks like, how a cat moves and how its face changes expressions in the eye of a human observer.
Once the year is over and I've got a full dozen of these cat illustrations, I'll re-design the calendars to fit with the year 2018 and offer them as a printable set. I've always wanted to create a calendar! So I keep the motives appropriate to their month and season, with March, for example, being all about newly growing greenery, and May blossoming flowers.
The very first drawing of this series was actually for a Christmas card. Combining a cute animal drawing with simple flowers and leaves was so much fun to draw that I wanted to continue.
And of course: My cat is the prettiest in the world, so I have to draw him more! :)
The first four illustrations are now also available as printable journaling cards on my Etsy. You can print them yourself at home (or visit a copy shop) on sturdy paper of your choice and use them for journaling, as planner inserts, note cards or greeting cards.
There are also two stripes of washi tape with the same floral patterns.