View Full Version : Itty Bitty Book of Kitty

05-06-2010, 12:17 PM
I just got my new sketchbooks in yesterday in my Blick order. One of them is a two-pack of Moleskine Volant sketchbooks. Only 2 1/2" x 4", the cream colored pages are microperforated and could be pulled out and trimmed off to ATCs provided I remembered to mark off half an inch on the long side to get it to size.

The cream paper suggested sepia monochrome to me. Kitten saw them and said "Dad, that's for really small ink drawings." She's right -- it's not watercolor paper so most of them won't get washed, but the grain is very smooth and good for penwork with a fine point.

So the kitty of the title is on the very first page of this small collection. I'm not sure if I'll theme it on life sketches of my cat, but he's in there at least once and probably will show up again because he can't help being beautiful and I can't help drawing him if he sits still for more than 30 seconds.

Ari On My Lap
4" x 2 1/2"
Sepia Pigma Micron Pen size 01
Moleskine Volant sketchbook.

More to come... I'm pretty sure everything in this book will be very fine detailed pen drawings. But I might get in some pencil or colored pencils miniatures as well, I'll decide when I get there.

05-06-2010, 12:27 PM
That is tiny Robert. Ari is beautiful as always.

05-06-2010, 01:09 PM
Thank you! This one may fill up fast because it's so small, but I'm going to explore detailed miniatures in it and may have it with me on outings for life drawing too. There's an advantage to working small if you want to finish something fast!

Here's a photo of the actual sketchbook on my keyboard with its mate laying next to it, so you can see the dimensions in relation to a laptop keyboard.


Vivien Maloney
05-06-2010, 02:32 PM
Your new Sketchbooks sound tiny, Robert. But you've made a great start with Ari's sketch. They sound ideal for pen & ink drawings. I'll look forward to seeing what you sketch in them.

05-06-2010, 07:12 PM
Very nice, Robert! We've been working on large canvases in my oil painting class, so my psychological view of what is 'small' and what is 'big' has changed. My class project is on 30 x 48" canvas. So your sketchbook seems really tiny right now...!

Carole A
05-06-2010, 09:32 PM
:lol: I get so confused with your daughter, "KItten" and your pet, "Kitty". But I see it's the pet you're drawing, so nicely.

Your moleskins sound like the perfect size for portability.

Carole A

05-06-2010, 10:05 PM
Thank you!

Vivien, I think I'll mostly be doing pen drawing in this one, but possibly branching into soft pencils like Graphitints or Derwent Coloursoft or even the watercolor ones -- especially if the pages that seem so thick do stand up to a light wash, I might do some pen and wash and sketch-wash pages.

John, wow! You're probably using brushes wider than my sketchbook held longways! That scale, 30" x 48" to me is like "mural on stretchers." Awesome. That's probably where those big 120ml tubes of paint come in handy. I've never done anything that big except once, did a big heraldic design on a sheet for a medieval event. But that was more scaling up a pre-existing design and coloring in the line art, not creating a painting on that scale.

Carole, the title does refer to Ari Cat. My daughter's nickname has been Kitten for decades, so I tend to refer to her as Kitten just the way I do offline. My grandkids are sometimes The Kittenlets too, but they're not furry. Just cute, fast moving and full of mischief sometimes. And yep, at least one of the two little Volant sketchbooks is just going to permanently live in my vest pocket.

I have this khaki vest Kitten bought me several years ago for a present, it's one of these safari photographer vests with a lot of little pockets that zip or Velcro shut, the Vest of Carrying Stuff. I love its convenience, it leaves my hands free for my cane and lets me haul small lightweight art supplies. I've got some extra Pigma Microns that I can keep in the tall pen-pockets and usually have some pencils in others, so I can just keep this in one of the small pockets and have it handy whenever I'm outdoors.

05-07-2010, 10:29 AM
microperforated! That's convenient! Great opportunity you took there for drawing your lovely cat, it's hard to keep them still. :)

05-07-2010, 10:56 AM
Hi Robert. :wave:

I think you must be a "cat whisperer." Your many sketches of Ari are so beautiful, I can see what a connection you have with him. Also, love the size of those little journals. Sounds like that would be very handy to have if you do ATC Exchanges. Can't wait for more!

05-07-2010, 08:25 PM
Thanks, Prismalos -- yes, it is very hard to keep him still. I have to just observe him and hope he repeats the pose more than once to get his proportions right -- and then detail by observing him in a different pose. It works after time but it's much easier doing cats from photos!

Jake, thank you! You could be right, I know cats intimately and yet every year I live with them, I learn more about them. I get along well with them but of course, my connection with Ari runs deeper than with any other cat. These little books are great for ATC exchanges. There's also some pads that come wirebound and perforated that are exactly ATC sized, Strathmore makes them. I've considered getting some, but I wouldn't treat that as an art journal because I'd be pulling out each page as I finished it and sending it on to someone to get an ATC in return.

05-08-2010, 12:06 PM
Everytime I turn around Moleskine has some great new (new to me) size and I love the microperfs. Your kitten studies are delightful.

05-09-2010, 02:18 PM
Thank you!

Here's the second page in the Itty Bitty Book of Kitty. I think I'm going to slightly change the title and make this the cats book that several folks have asked for. It may or may not entirely consist of Ari sketches, I have another cat available in the house with my daughter's cat Miss Gemini, plus I like doing big cats from references and may even get to a zoo this summer.

I'll try to include a bit of text too, in subsequent pages. Meanwhile, here's the second item on my current Scavenger Hunt, "Something to do with teeth."

Scavenger Hunt 176
#2: to do with teeth
2 1/2" x 4" with text
Tombow brush pen
Moleskine Volant sketchbook
Ari's veterinarian says he has the teeth of a two year old. He is a terror among vets, he doesn't like medical appointments any more than I do and he's less shy about expressing it. Our current veterinarian took it in stride because he loves animals and knows it's not Ari's fault if he has problems being poked, stuck with needles and prodded. He is very cool as a vet... now if I can convince Ari that it helps to be nice to good doctors, he might overcome the violent traumas of past visits.

Vivien Maloney
05-09-2010, 02:37 PM
Robert; I laughed at your description of "Ari" at the Vets! I could just see it all in my mind. Love your cat sketches, your pen work is fantastic, so expressive. Our young grand-daughters have purchased a kitten (8 weeks old) yesterday. Its, oh so cute!! Its a little tabby with stripes and spots and blue eyes which may not change as its father was a Siamese. I am thinking of sketching it as it grows - but its SO active so might take photos of it instead.

05-09-2010, 03:48 PM
Nice! Ah yes, despite being the most amusing pet in the world... teeth and claws!

05-09-2010, 04:36 PM
Thank you both! Despite Ari's immense popularity and many online fans, he's a Siamese and they tend to be one-man cats. On top of that we were isolated for his entire first year with very little human contact, so he tends to be shy and suspicious of other people in person. He judges them entirely by how they treat me, and I wasn't with him at the vet, so this was a conspiracy to deprive him of my company while doing nasty things to him when I wasn't there to explain to this crazy person that he should not have needles stuck in him, things poked in his ears and other orifices, or get handled by someone not me. I think if I ever got a veterinarian who was also a friend that came over to bring me treats and give me back rubs, Ari would behave like a perfect furry angel with that trusted person. I always get his fuzzy soft cuddly purring side. More playful roommates get teeth and claws used rowdy-for-fun. Anyone who yells at me gets clawed and hissed at. I think if a burglar or violent person ever threatened me more than verbally, he'd have to deal with fifteen pounds of Cat Fu Master going for the kill.

Thanks for changing the thread title, Jamie!

The book is now officially titled Itty Bitty Book of Kitty and will be entirely themed on cats, with a strong Ari presence since he's my favorite cat in all the world.

Vivien, please, get some good photos of your new kitten! It's hard to sketch kittens from life unless they're asleep, but they do some gorgeous silly sleeping-kitten poses. I wish I still had Ari's baby kitten pictures. Eight weeks is adorable but also the age of Rocket Kitten. Try for sleepy sketches but get plenty of photos and videos -- video is a great way to get those ephemeral great action poses, just go through it slowly and choose stills from it as references.

If you post any kitten references I'll include them in the Itty Bitty Book of Kitty by drawing them and credit you (and the kitten model) when it gets posted or published. Had to make that clear, I'm not going to try to paste in photos, the book is entirely going to be drawings or if paint works on this paper, paintings.

05-09-2010, 09:17 PM
Ah, yes, cats can be quite ferocious. And it really is a good thing Ari has excellent teeth. Had a cat that beat up my son when my son was a teen. It was the annual vet visit and I had asked my son to be there when I got home so he and I could "gang up" on the cat to get her into her box. Son, being helpful, decided to do the job himself before I got home. The cat was under the sofa in the living room. My son had lost the fight and was bleeding from several deep claw marks and had a black eye. :lol: Had to reschedule the vet appointment to deal with a doctor appointment. Son needed a couple of stitches in his hand.

05-09-2010, 11:00 PM
Now that's an impressive cat. I've been clawed and I've even got a scar on my wrist from removing someone else's white tomcat from under my bed -- I was living in a rooming house that allowed cats and he came in and decided to camp there. Scars across my veins at an angle and a puncture round scar on my wrist from his tooth. I tell people it was a suicide attempt -- by reaching under the bed for an angry tomcat!

But I'd never heard of a cat giving someone a black eye though! Someone needs to give that cat a boxing championship. And yes, with feline pugilists it does take two people to get them into the carrier if they don't want to go.

For Ari, it doesn't. He associates his carrier with "we're moving" much more than vet visits, since we moved so often and is the perfect travel cat. He goes in without a fuss, curls up to sleep, or watches calmly through the window. He won't get fierce until he finds out where he is at the vet.

05-11-2010, 03:01 AM
My oh my, Robert, somehow your Ari reminds me of my first cat, who sadly passed away.. She wasn't fond of the vets either, and would sometimes pout for a day or two after one of our visits to "that evil place that stinks of dogs and human witchcraft"

Or at least this is what her expression would suggest ^^

Anyway, count me on the Ari fanclub as well :) Your cat is beautiful, and your drawing him is such a nice thing to see :) Waiting for more Ari drawings.. and adventure!


05-11-2010, 10:18 AM
Yes, the smell and sound of dogs including large ones probably have something to do with it. Ari lost all three of his littermates to a pit bull in the house he was born in. The dog got locked in with the one kitten they were keeping in a bathroom -- after having been egged on for weeks to "get the kitty" in chasing the kittens. He got the kitten. The dog got tied outside to protect the children.

Ari's two black littermates had run away a week before. They tried to come back at about 12 weeks old. They found them in pieces.

I had thought I would get a shelter cat and save its life. Little did I know that when my friend offered me a six week old kitten from her cat Snow, whom I loved and adored when she was a kitten, that I'd be saving his life as surely as if I'd gone down to Death Row to find a friend.

He must have been chased and threatened by that dog many times in his first six weeks of life. He had a phobia of large dogs until very recently. He partly got over it in Minnesota when we lived with housemates who had very lazy, cat-friendly dogs ranging from medium to large.

One of the renters didn't realize Ari had moved in with me and put him outside in the snow. Two border collies belonging to another housemate knew he'd been carried upstairs and which unit he belonged in, so they herded him back into the house after he'd been put out. I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed at the time and was so grateful to those border collies for saving my cat.

Then my daughter got Zoe, a Siberian Husky, who was a puppy only his size when she first brought her in. Ari got a chance to meet a dog at a young impressionable age and completely dominated her. He learned that if he sat on the back of the couch and looked down at her, she'd become very submissive -- and his friend. He now plays a lot with Zoe, he teases her and paw-fences and enjoys her company. Ayla was a bit rowdier. Annie (Rhiannon), the Corgi puppy, thinks she's a cat because she's cat height, has pointed ears and likes cat food.

So he's now learned that some dogs are to be trusted, that there are good dogs in the world. Those that bow to cats or ignore cats are good dogs. The vet's waiting room probably always has some cat hating dogs in it if it's crowded though, not to mention scared dogs, dogs in pain, angry and aggressive dogs that were there earlier, scared cats, cats in pain... it must seem like a nightmare place to them since they can smell who was there for hours before.

Here's today's page in the Itty Bitty Book of Kitty, an ear study and a sketch from memory of how he looked at six weeks old when he just fit in my hand and weighed nothing -- I don't even think he weighed a whole pound that first day, he was mostly fur. I started to scritch him and my fingers sank deeper and deeper into the fluff till it was past both knuckles before I got to any solid kitten! He was so beautiful and delicate I was afraid I'd hurt him.

He was very quiet, passive, subdued and photogenic. Especially if you wanted pictures of his butt. He clambered over my printer and curled up by my keyboard. He discovered computers and typing in his first hour home, greeting my friends in a chat room with some serious full-body typing.

The day after that, he discovered that kittens can reach Mach 4 without even trying and that he could fly. He bounced all over the room and used to shoot straight up from the floor to my chest, hook on my shirt with his tiny sharp claws for pitons and look up at me actually smiling. He was proud of being my Pop-Up Kitten!

Itty Bitty Book of Kitty Page 3
Ear Study and Kittenhood Memory
2 1/2" x 4"
Pigma Micron pen, size 02
Moleskine Volant sketchbook.

05-11-2010, 01:00 PM
Ahh, how cute! Ari is such a handsome cat, Robert!
I have a tiny moleskine like this Robert... I keep it in my bag for quick ink sketches when I'm out and about. I made the mistake of using watercolour in it one time and it bled through the pages. It's perfect for ink pen though!
Well done!

05-11-2010, 02:07 PM
Love the ear and kitten sketches. The story is heart warming. :cat:

05-11-2010, 02:56 PM
Thank you! I love him and it's so much fun sketching him in pen. I could use pencils in it, but I think if I keep it all to pen drawings consistently that'll be a nice coherent style to the whole book. I did him in colored pens and wash in my other journal.

Washes work fine in the watercolor Moleskine journals but not so well in the other ones.

05-12-2010, 10:31 AM
wow, baby cat! You should draw him typing on the keyboard! Damn, I'd really want a cat someday. Great detail on the ears, I didn't know they looked like that up close!

Joan T
05-12-2010, 10:40 AM
Robert - I finally had a few minutes to come check out the sketchbook thread. I didn't realize your "itty bitty kitty" moleskin was that tiny. I thought I had the smallest size which is about 3 x 5. I like working in the small ones for something quick when I'm out. I'll be back to see the progress in your journal, although I'll probably see most of it in the scavenger hunts. Meow!

05-12-2010, 02:50 PM
Robert I love all the stories about Ari. Sad he came from such a harsh scary home, but he certainly found a wonderful home and friend. Great sketch of him as a baby. I have a photo of one of my cats asleep at the keyboard, it is so cute. Actually I have one of him asleep on the laptop when he was very small too. He is a computer cat.

05-12-2010, 03:00 PM
Thank you! Joan, I didn't realize my 3 1/2" x 5" pocket Moleskine wasn't the smallest either, till I was browsing Blick and ran into the little Volant ones. They come in micro size and pocket size same as my good one. They're better for ink sketching than anything else, because I have a little trouble getting deep darks on the regular Moleskine unlined paper (the thin paper 196 page book) with a pencil, but ink works fantastic on the smooth surface. The sketchbook paper is heavier and better for other dry mediums.

Raymond, I'll do that. I lost his baby kitten pictures and so I'll work on reconstructing some of the best moments I can remember. Some of them never got into photos at all because he'd move before I could aim the camera. He was an enthusiastic typist, and there was a time when it was one paw per key that his Kitty Kode was very complex.

I used to hang out in a chat room, keeping it open all the time. He'd bound onto the keyboard and type, sit on the Enter key or stand on it by accident and watch his typing scroll up onto the screen. Then others in the chat would respond to him. It fascinated him. I think he understood he could make type come up and move on the screen. I'm not sure he understood it was communicating but my chat friends laughed out loud a lot when he'd cut in with his kitten comments.

Aww, Jacqui, that must be such a great photo! I'd love to see the laptop one when he was small. Cats just gravitate to keyboards.

I found out with Ari that they liked the old CRT style monitors as much as televisions too. Those things were invented as cat beds, but sadly, new monitors don't offer a cat a large heated platform on which he can drape his tail over the screen and gently pendulum it back and forth to get attention. I suppose those with desktops still get cats decorating the tops of cases though, when they're nice and warm.

Ari has something new now though, we have a heated super single sized waterbed that's just right for both of us. I like it as much as he does. He's curled up on it now.

05-12-2010, 06:41 PM
Robert here is Jasper when he was about 8 - 10 weeks old with the laptop. I ended up having to get a new mouse as he chewed through the cord a few days later :)

05-12-2010, 10:11 PM
Awww thank you, Jacqui! He looks so cute. Beautiful little kitten. Big for his age too, and very adept with computers. Though chewing the mouse cord through is pretty typical kitten destructiveness.

I'll definitely have fun drawing him for the Itty Bitty Book of Kitty!

05-13-2010, 12:57 PM
I love the kittycat sketch-book idea. I wish my dog would sit still for a few seconds...in poses other than sleeping. Then I'd try a yorkie-doggy sketchbook theme...but knowing me, I'll never get around to it. I love your cat drawings!!!

05-13-2010, 03:36 PM
June, have a go at it! First, try snapping photos with your phone before the animal notices. Also doing short videos with a digital camera and choosing good frames out of them can help. Then try sleeping poses as quick gestures no more than a minute or two, plus studies of fur and markings based on photos. I built up to this little cats book after several years, okay, ten years of drawing Ari whenever I could. I wanted to draw him so badly and for years I succeeded in drawing him so badly you couldn't always tell it was a cat. It takes practice most of all.

I'm having fun with it now though, all those repetitive sleepy furry blob sketches are paying off at last!

Jacqui, here he is -- your cat Jasper's guest appearance in the Itty Bitty Book of Kitty! I'm half thinking of posting this book as a web comic once I'm completely done with it, just update with a new cat sketch daily. But not while I'm still doing it, more when I'm ahead enough I don't have to worry about missing deadlines.

Guest Kitten Jasper
2 1/2" x 4"
Pigma Micron pen size 05
Moleskine Volant sketchbook
Photo reference by jacquip.

05-13-2010, 09:36 PM
Awww... he's adorable. Robert that's a lot of detail on such a tiny sketch. You've captured the kitten perfectly.

05-13-2010, 10:11 PM
Thanks so much Robert. He looks so cute and happy. I love it. I feel honoured to have a guest kitty in your book.

Vivien Maloney
05-14-2010, 12:42 AM
Robert; Love your kitten sketches and stories. What a great Journal this is turning into!

05-14-2010, 04:23 AM
Thats awesome, Robert! That's why Jasper was hugging it dearly, it had a plan hehe! :D

05-14-2010, 08:31 AM
Thank you! Yep, Jasper loved his toy on a string. Unfortunately the fate of most toys on a string is to get the string chewed through. A wireless mouse would solve the problem, but might not keep kittens from batting it around and opening up new browser windows whenever they want to surf.

Ari was very fond of surfing the Internet as well as typing in chat rooms. He liked to swat the mouse with his tail to open up another browser window.

05-14-2010, 09:53 PM
Robert, this is GORGEOUS and I LOOOOVE the size, purrrrrrrfect for putty-tats!!!!!

05-14-2010, 10:27 PM
Thank you! I did ATCs and ACEOs for years, so this is very similar -- half an inch longer but basically the same size as I'm used to.

05-15-2010, 05:16 AM
This is such a lovly journal...Sine I am also a 'cat person' I love the sketches and stories of Ari. Look forward to following this journal!

05-15-2010, 11:13 AM
Thank you! I'm having loads of fun with it and as soon as I see my cat again, I'll do some more sketches of him. He just dodged out of sight. Silly cat.

05-16-2010, 03:39 AM
He's lovely and there is something so lively about sketches from life, rather than photos :)

05-16-2010, 04:04 AM
Thank you! Next page is penciled, I'll ink it tomorrow and post it. I don't need to be looking as closely at him in exactly the same position to do the inking, I got very detailed in the pencil. It's just so soft it wouldn't scan.

05-16-2010, 03:34 PM
As promised, yesterday's good pencil sketch of Ari's paw is now inked and finished. I used a finer point of pen to get the fur texture just right, his fur shines on his paws and the highlights are so satiny gorgeous I had to try to convey them.

He was laying on me with his front leg forward and his paw bent back at the wrist, such a dainty gesture that I couldn't resist. My cat's a decadent sybarite! I love him for it, I've learned to enjoy life from that furry hedonist.

Itty Bitty Book of Kitty, Page 5
2 1/2" x 4"
Pigma Micron pen, black, size 02
Moleskine Volant sketchbook.
From life while the cat lounged on my lap purring.

05-16-2010, 10:16 PM
Ari does hold still for you when you draw. You just have to be selective. :) Wonderful drawing of the cat paw.

05-16-2010, 10:39 PM
Lovely cat paw. It feels so safe and wonderful when they put their paw on you like that. Very protective of them. You conveyed that so well.

05-17-2010, 05:01 PM
:) lovely

05-17-2010, 05:24 PM
Thank you! Jacqui, yes, it does feel protective sometimes when he puts his paw on me like that. And completely trusting. He'll climb up on my lap and get possessive, then relax so much that he melts and spreads out as if he hasn't got a bone in him.

05-22-2010, 04:49 PM
Here we go! With this page, I've now put at least one new drawing or painting into all four of my current art journals. I'm crazy keeping up so many different ones, but it's fun and it's actually working -- on good days like this it is!

Itty Bitty Book of Kitty, Page Six
2 1/2" x 4"
Pigma Micron pen size 01
Moleskine Volant sketchbook lightweight cream drawing paper.

05-22-2010, 05:10 PM
the underlying bone structure and movement of the fur are really well observed - and he looks blissfully comfortable :>)

Mine likes to lie with her nose tucked into my neck - but won't tolerate laughing or talking - she gets very cross and wags her tail warning me to be quiet.

05-22-2010, 07:17 PM
Seems Ari will cooperate with your sketching him, if he's in your lap. Another great Ari sketch.

05-22-2010, 08:50 PM
Aww Vivien, that's so sweet. Ari doesn't mind my talking or typing as long as I pause to scritch him frequently and sweet-talk him while I'm doing it. I constantly sweet-talk my cat. He likes it. I think he knows it's my human style of purring, knows the tone, understands it's love.

Yep, Debby, he's becoming much more cooperative. Maybe he's finally grasping that when I draw him, I'm not using a flash camera! That it's just another form of affection.

05-23-2010, 05:23 AM
I definitely love the way you draw Ari's fur!

05-23-2010, 07:12 AM
Aww, what a cute cat :) Lovely sketches!

05-23-2010, 11:54 AM
Thank you! Sandra, look close at any cat's fur. The way I do him in these sketches is also a guide to painting him -- fur on animals looks totally real if you get the shadows in with strokes going in the direction of the fur. This tends to make sense after time and even unrelated animals, it's easier to see fur direction after a while. It also works for human hair.

Aiylah, thank you! He's just as sweet offline as he is cute in the drawings.

05-24-2010, 06:42 PM
This must be like a mini-game where you grab every chance you can get to sketch him knowing he can't stay still for long! :lol: Loving the little gestures and poses. They are very natural.

And yes, so many things to draw but so little time :(

05-25-2010, 12:10 AM
Yes, that's exactly what it is. I spot him in a good pose, grab the pencil and sketch very quickly, then detail after he's moved into a new position. Or draw the new position very fast. He's starting to like the game since I'm sweetening it up with cat treats when he poses well.

05-25-2010, 12:28 AM
Another lovely drawing of Ari. . . they way you contour him and suggest his coloring without color is so cool.

05-25-2010, 04:37 AM
I like the bribery!

Ours know they get a treat after the trauma of going to the vet and trot straight to their dishes on getting home!

Getting them into the travel box can be a painful experience - whereas they walk straight back into it on the vets table when it's time to go.

And yes, watching the direction of the fur is essential - also thinking about the underlying bone/muscle. Cats are so fluid and change shape so much with different poses that some people forget these.

05-26-2010, 05:41 PM
Oh this is such a cute sketch book! LOVE the Ari cat sketches and the one of Jasper! I love small sketches and you put so much detail into them :-)

06-06-2010, 09:39 PM
Thank you, all three of you. Yes, Viv, through drawing Ari I've gotten a good understanding of his bones and muscles too. He's a very husky, muscular cat. Not fat, but he's buff under all the fluffy fur. I can tell when I pet him and he doesn't mind my gently exploring his arms and legs or back to understand his anatomy as long as there's plenty of good scritching going on.

Rainy, a lot of how I suggest his coloring is by placing more or fewer fur strokes. They're always in the direction and sometimes the shape of clumps of hair or rather, shadows of clumps of hair in light areas. It's possible to get a good range of values with penwork if you're careful and practice a lot -- but what have I practiced as much as Ari's fur? lol

Rachel, thank you! Small sketches are so much easier for me because I love putting that much detail in and when I work larger, it takes forever.

I love drawing Ari and I've done it so much that on a really bad sick day when I'm only up to one quick sketch -- it'll be a three minute cat gesture. He came out well despite how bad I feel, whew!

Ari - Itty Bitty Book of Kitty page 7
2 1/2" x 4"
Sakura Pigma Micron size 08 black
Moleskine Volant mini sketchbook.
From life of course.

06-08-2010, 12:46 PM
Two more pages. I did another sketch yesterday but didn't scan till I finished the page it was on.

Itty Bitty Book of Kitty, Page 8
2 1/2" x 4"
Sakura Pigma Micron sepia brush pen and size 03 black pen
Moleskine Volant 80lb cream drawing paper.

Here's the second Guest Cat for the volume. Artist Suzette Morrow demonstrates an unusual, creative style of sketching. So that's why Wally has such interesting markings! Love the white space on his chest and paws.

Itty Bitty Book of Kitty, Page 9
2 1/2" x 4"
Sakura Pigma Micron black sizes 08 and 03 pens
Moleskine Volant 80lb cream drawing paper
Photo reference with permission by Suzette Morrow.

06-08-2010, 01:23 PM
Your small Ari poses are so spot on. Especially that grooming, foot straight in the air pose. :lol: That pose of Wally being a sketchbook is just hilarious. No wonder you had to draw that.

Vivien Maloney
06-08-2010, 02:04 PM
You are going well Robert and Ari is co-operating. Thats good, as every time I try to sketch my dogs and horses they hate the continual staring at them and walk away. I love the sketch of Ari grooming himself with the straight leg pose. I've seen cats do that so many times.

06-08-2010, 02:28 PM
Robert - I have to echo the others with the "grooming" pose! I was waiting to see when / if you'd include "that" pose LOL! The movie "Shrek" with Puss-in-boots by Antonio Banderas comes to mind - Oh how that cracked me up!
You're right about siamese getting darker as they age. My Tonkanese (Siamese / Burmese X) was a blue point with a soft cream fur and her central back fur darkened a little as she got older. Our other siamese were lilac points, very pale when kittens, and a love grey with a hint of lavender to their points as they aged. Their eyes also were a lilac blue, rather than a saphire blue. It is my goal one day however to have a Seal point. I've always wanted a seal point! I just love all Siamese.... :-)

06-08-2010, 05:59 PM
Debby, thank you. I cracked up when I first saw that photo and had to ask to include Wally in this book. It was too great.

Viv, thank you. Ari cooperates to a point. A lot of it is that I started out doing a lot of sleeping Ari poses and got so used to his details that I can get a pose in a blob and two lines -- then he moves and I go sketching the rest mostly by checking for color and fur direction and pattern when he repeats the motion more or less. I've been watching that straight leg pose for years, all his life, hoping to be able to catch him like that on camera. Finally gave up and sketched, averaging his motions.

It's possible to draw them while they move, it just takes fast blocking-in and lots of practice with that animal to fill in details from memory.

Rachel, thank you. Of course I had to do that pose. I loved that movie too! Aww your Tonkinese sounds so beautiful. Ari is a street Siamese, a color point long hair. He always had a seal face and chocolate feet and tail, not exactly matching points. But he's beautiful with his silvery blue eyes and all the color points can trace back to the original Siamese, so he's a Street Siamese anyway. They're all so gorgeous.

06-08-2010, 10:04 PM
Ari is perfect!
Yes, my Tonkinese "Smokey" was wonderful. I was newly married, just moved to Texas and our siamese cat (OK - Mums siamese cat!), Lucy, which i'd grown up with. Then one day my friend was walking her dog when she came across Smokey. She'd been declawed and left out with a box and some dirty water in the woods behind our appartment! She was so pretty! She called me up and told me she'd found a siamese type cat and would I take her? Of course I jumped at the chance and that was that! It was almost as though it was fate! She kept me company for about 9 years. Almost like a dog in her ways, would come when she was called, would meet you at the door when you came home... loved being played with and would just follow you around wherever you went. She was great. She died about 8yrs ago but I still miss her. I have a little dachshund now, another unwanted animal that we took in! (what is wrong with people?).
I only have a few photos of Smokey but plan on drawing her one day :-)

06-08-2010, 10:30 PM
That poor cat! A declawed cat is not equipped to hunt for a living, a declawed cat has been tortured and has to stay a house cat afterward. You probably saved Smokey's life taking her.

Siamese are like that though. They get very attached to their people, sometimes they're a one-man cat or one-woman cat, other times just intensely people oriented and love everybody. Ari is that same way -- very devoted, passionately loves attention from me, gets clingy sometimes. There's no better cure for a lonely person than a Siamese cat, because no matter how needy you are, that cat will get even more clingy and always be thrilled at your attention.

Though many breeds of cat will wash your tears and let you cry into their fur without losing respect. It's a cat thing. Cats don't get as rigid about hierarchy, it's very situational with them. When you have a motherly one, that can be so comforting but she'll run your life.

06-09-2010, 01:03 PM
Ari is perfect!
Yes, my Tonkinese "Smokey" was wonderful. I was newly married, just moved to Texas and our siamese cat (OK - Mums siamese cat!), Lucy, which i'd grown up with.
I meant to write - moved to Texas and was "Missing" our siamese cat!

Yes I think I did save her life! There were coyotes out in the field next to the woods that would come out every night, I used to love watching them, but theres no way she'd have survived out there with out being able to cling and climb up a tree with no claws. She was a house cat to begin with I think but I know she had also been abused, by a guy. When I bought her home she wondered around, then as soon as my hubby walked in she ran and hid. :-( It took a good year for her to get used to the fact that this man wasn't going to harm her. She'd open up the cabinet doors in the kitchen and hide in the cabinet! ?? Something she must have done before. Poor thing, broke my heart. :-( But she came around when she realized she would only get love from us :-) She also had a mishaped nose :-( She never was an outdoor type cat after that, she enjoyed the comforts of the house :-)

06-09-2010, 01:39 PM
Awww poor Smokey! It sounds like her nose might have been hurt by some man before you got her. Very glad she came to understand your husband wasn't cruel to cats or kittens and loved her as much as you did. Hiding in cabinets is natural for them, at their size that's a good sized room with hopefully too small an entrance for what's chasing them.

Coyotes are very dangerous even to cats that still have their claws. Kitten used to warn me about the ones in Kansas, so she kept Gemini inside as much as Ari. A little online reading revealed that indoor cats live about five or six years longer than indoor-outdoor cats on average, so I don't feel so bad about confining Ari all his life to being an indoor cat. When he's a very old cat still purring in my lap, he'll still be around to do so.

06-09-2010, 11:28 PM
I'm sure Ari will live a long and spoiled life!!!
Smokey lived approximately 14 yrs.
Lucy, our old Lilac point siamese back home made it to 21yrs!!!

06-10-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks! Oh that's so cool that Lucy lived so long. I hope Ari lives a long, long time. He's not fat, so that's a big point in his favor.

06-21-2010, 06:07 PM
Itty Bitty Book of Kitty, Page 10
2 1/2" x 4"
Sakura Pigma Micron pen, black size 05
Moleskine Volant sketchbook.
Ari sketched from my own photo.

06-21-2010, 06:11 PM
Another great Ari sketch. The claw sheath is an interesting addition.

06-21-2010, 10:03 PM
Thank you! I love finding his little claw sheaths on the floor -- especially in the bathroom next to his scratching post, it tells me he's using it.

06-22-2010, 12:35 AM
LOL better than scratching the furniture! I love when they stretch on their scratching posts! Then pull their paws in and out alternately!
Oh gosh that reminds me! Talking of "kneading with their claws"! Have you ever seen the videos of "Simon's cat" on youtube? If not you must! They're hilarious! Funniest thing i've seen in years. Cat owners / past and present can really relate to the cartoon sketches / videos that this guy makes! Look it up :-)

06-22-2010, 10:33 AM
Robert, From seeing this sketch Ari must be gorgeous in person. Please post a photo at some point.


06-22-2010, 02:45 PM
Haha! Ari demonstrating cat yoga!

Robert posted two photos of Ari last year:

image 5 in this post: http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8001578&postcount=1

and in this post:

06-22-2010, 06:55 PM
Whisperwood, I've seen the Simon's Cat videos on Youtube. They are so cool, totally made me laugh.

Reggie, thanks!

EP, thanks for the links to my Ari photos! I'm not sure if this is one of them but it's one of my favorites.


I've got a couple more handy, so I'll post them too.


And one of him washing himself - more cat yoga!


Please consider these photos shared as if I'd posted them in the RIL same rules, credit me and I'd appreciate a message with a link so that I can see your art from them and comment on it. He's a beautiful cat and I love seeing what other artists do with him too.

06-22-2010, 09:03 PM
Oh my gosh I just want to sink my face into all that beautiful fur and just hug him!

06-22-2010, 11:39 PM
Hi Robert!

I agree with others who have said that your mastery of all things Ari is AMAZING!!! You catch such perfectly real poses and all of Ari's piece-parts that you draw are spot on. I love that you've devoted this whole little sketchbook to Ari, and I'm sure that he appreciates it too. Also, love seeing the photos of him. He certainly is a handsome boy!

Nice work!


06-23-2010, 01:22 AM
Awww thanks! He is, and one of the things I love is to pick him up and nuzzle all that soft fluffy fur. He's got super soft fur like a kitten, it's something special about him. He has his mom's coat, and she was always silky and kitten-soft even as a grownup.

It's mostly Ari, but I'm also including guest cats when I see great photos to do them from. Got a couple of guest cat photos in my hard drive now that I think you'll enjoy.

06-23-2010, 07:36 AM
He's beautiful :)

06-23-2010, 02:31 PM
Ari is one lucky cat to have you as a 'master' - and you him for such a convenient model. I'm mostly a dog person, but when we had three cats several decades ago, we really believed it was best to keep them in the house. It not only helps their health, but outdoor catrs kill a huge number of birds annually. The two people in my band have an indoor-outdoor cat who has been to another musician friend of ours who is a cat veterinarian more times than they can count. On three occasions he had life-threatening infections from being in fights (and is missing a big part of one of his ears from one of his infamous losses). Apparently he and the next door cat are constant combatants and Norman, my band-mates' cat, keeps getting into those fights even though he constantly comes out the loser. Our vet friend half seriously said at a party one time that he was considering offering to put Norman on a retainer because he was such a frequent patient. :)

06-23-2010, 02:48 PM
Ari is certainly a beautiful cat!

06-24-2010, 01:16 AM
Thank you! John, you're right. I've come to see how indoor cats live a lot longer and healthier lives. Ari actually decided that for himself a few times, when he got out he was terrified and ran back inside. He's definitely a clingy, one-man cat like many Siamese, but he's a lot less shy than he used to be.

06-24-2010, 04:39 AM
Ari is one lucky cat to have you as a 'master' )

:eek: :eek:

cats don't have masters - they have servants :cat:

06-24-2010, 10:04 AM
Ari actually decided that for himself a few times, when he got out he was terrified and ran back inside.

Awwww poor guy! My Smokey was the same way, she'd go out for a bit but definitely like the human comforts of indoors! I was glad she preferred indoors. Does Ari like following the "sun spots" around the rooms from the windows or skylights? Funny how animals like those sun spots!

06-24-2010, 12:46 PM
LOL yep. He does like the sun spots when I've got a window that casts them, but my room here hasn't got any. Sometimes he goes downstairs to enjoy them but it depends on whether the dogs are outside.

There's a great quote -- cats don't have masters, they have staff.

06-24-2010, 09:55 PM
There's a great quote -- cats don't have masters, they have staff.

LOL yes!