“Seah’s Cat” (#13: Project 365 Sketches)
Sketch Club app; iPhone
2013, Sun 13 Jan. Not Schrödinger’s but my tea drinking friend’s. Sketched this by referencing his photo of his cat. Loaded the image on the app, traced the outline, and painted in the details. Experimented with the Fur brush effect. Was really impressed with the brush! At the appropriate opacity and brush size, the fur looked real. #365sketches
How it was done
1. This was the original photo, which I saved to my phone. Photo credit: Kw Seah.
2. Thanks to technology, I could import the image directly into the app, then traced the rough outline of the cat (on a second layer, and setting the image layer to a lower opacity). I could have done it the old-school way, i.e. flipped between the image and sketched the outline from eye referencing alone. Well, my objective was not in practicing the accuracy of my outline work in this case.
3. I used the Fur brush, adjusted the opacity and brush size, and proceeded on a rough paint-over. The direct photo reference helped a lot.
4. I took note of the shaded areas, as well as the white/ highlight areas around the eyes and mouth. When I finally hid the image layer, I was quite surprised how accurately I’d captured the outline and overall shape and shading.
5. Before continuing with the detailed work, I applied two Fill layers (red and sienna tones) and set it to Overlay mode. I liked the slightly coloured tone better than monotones.
6. The remaining detailed work was on the whiskers, accentuating the eyes, applying a thin but opaque line above the eye to make the eyes stand out more, filling in the furs in its ears with individual line brush strokes. I also decided to move the sketch lower and towards the centre (learning point was to adjust the image layer first, before tracing the outline).
7. The final touch ups was mainly on the body and head (used a scattered brush and lightly dabbed white on key spots, which created a more realistic fur effect), added more prominent highlights on the whiskers, and the background.