Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ernest Theodore and Chevrolet


11/14/22 Ernest Theodore (Bic ballpoint on Hahnemuhle postcard, drawn from photo)

After sketching all those dogs, cows and other critters in France Van Stone’s crosshatching courses, I was in the mood to draw more animals – but ones I knew personally. I thought about pets I had met recently, and the first to come to mind was Ernest Theodore (namesake of the delightful stationery shop on Etsy). I got to meet Ernest in person a few months ago when his human hand-delivered the antique pencil stand I had purchased from him. I decided to make the drawing on a Hahnemühle postcard so that I could send it to Ernest’s family.

11/25/22 Chevrolet (Uni Pin brush pen and colored pencil
in Uglybook sketchbook, drawn from life)

Instead of shopping on Black Friday, we visited with a friend who lives with Chevrolet, a black and white cat. Not knowing how much time Chevy would give me, I started drawing with my trusty Uni Pin brush pin, expecting to make quick gestures. Chevy turned out to be among the best of life-drawing models: Napping the entire visit on his favorite ottoman, he barely moved, yet changed positions just often enough to give me a variety of poses. 

The whole time I sketched Chevy, I was recalling Cleo,whom I sketched several years ago at another friend’s house. She was all black and much harder to draw.

The sketches of Chevrolet didn’t give me much opportunity to work on the challenge of shading and highlights on black and white fur, so the next day I tried again, this time from a photo (below). I was hoping that the tan Stillman & Birn Nova paper might do some of the work on the shaded side, but working with white is very tricky (and my photo wasn’t well lit). I was also conflicted in my goals: I didn’t want it to turn into a polished portrait; I was going more for the crosshatched look. But then I got too interested in the details of the face (like the embossing tool I used for the white whiskers, a technique I hadn’t used since Crystal Shin’s botanical drawing workshops), and I also didn’t have the patience for a completely polished look. So it’s neither here nor there. Maybe I have to have a Bic in my hand to succeed at crosshatching.

11/26/22 Chevrolet (Prismacolors in Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook, drawn from photo)


  1. These are all great! Earnest Theodore is a beauty! I like how you did Chevy's fur in the last sketch. There is just enough tone in the paper to let the white hairs show. Cool!!

    1. Thank you... I love drawing animals, especially ones I know!


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