There is a NYC-based cat rescue NPO named Flatbush Cats.
They have a YouTube channel, where they show an excellent series of videos which make you feel how precious these little lives are.
“precious precious little lives” is something I came up with while watching this particular video.
In this piece also, like I did in the gondola cat, I used some techniques/expressions I learned from other master pen artists.
One is an Atlanta-based Asian artist, from whose works I learned how to draw flowers. I also wanted to try her leaves drawing techniques, but I had to drop the idea considering the overall tones of this particular piece of artwork; i.e. if I had followed this artist’s technique to draw the major leaves, the picture plane would have become too dark. So I decided to draw the leaves in a different way.
The other artist I learned from for drawing this piece is a Japanese ballpoint pen illustrator whom I found on Instagram. From her works, I learned how to draw tropical plants. I wanted to try her dot-based shading techniques as well, but I dropped this idea too, because line-based drawing is much easier for me and feels more efficient to produce the same shading effects. I also needed to increase the contrast in my work considering the overall values balance.
In the process of drawing this work, there were a couple of occasions for me to think “done. Let’s put my pen down here”, but I kept adding lines for a few more days.
This is because…
I was going to finish this piece with the upper version. But I noticed that:
a) the cat does not stand out due to the surrounding whitish areas.
b) the contrast of the plants is too weak to express the depth of this scene.
I know there are some artworks where the flatness is part of the design. But that was not my intention about this piece, so I decided to make some corrections. I added more lines to darken the areas around the cat, and increased the contrast of the plants sections.
Then, the lower version of this piece was generated.
By the way, my mother looked at this work while still in progress and said,
“The cat doesn’t look like a cat. It looks like some different animal beyond just a cat. Besides, you put so much emphasis on the background plants that they complete the main subject.”
Well, my response to this critique is:
a) The title of this work is “precious precious little lives”, by which I mean the lives of plants are equally precious. I am not saying that only the lives of animals are important.
b) If I had made the main subject too cat-like, the viewers would focus on the cuteness of the cat alone and would not pay attention to what this piece is all about. That is probably good if you are working on a portrait, but this work is not a portrait, so I believe this way is appropriate for this particular piece.
As to this work too I prepared two different colour variations. They both look fabulous!