23 November 2014

New Art - Thankfulness

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Here in the States, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  For most people, including me, this is mainly a feasting holiday.  Recently, however, I've also focused on giving proper thanks for things I'm grateful for in the days leading up to the feast.  To that end, this year I started a Thankfulness drawing project for the month of November.  Every day this month, I have sketched something I'm grateful for.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Ink Sketch of Smiling American Shorthair
My first entry featured our adorable American Shorthair.
The very first sketch I drew for this project featured our housecat, Kiki.  She follows me around quite a bit when I'm at home, so it was easy to make her my model.  She's my beau's first cat and she's silly, wily, and loving.  It was impossible not to draw her because I am very thankful indeed to have her in my life ❤

In drawing this, I decided on several rules for me to follow in future Thankfulness drawings.  For one, I decided to only sketch things that were right in front of me.  I would not use photographs or sketch anything abstract or made-up.  On top of that, I decided to use the same pen and paper for every sketch (the ZIG mangaka pen I received in my September ArtSnacks box and a coil-bound mixed media sketchbook from Strathmore).  This means that every drawing for this project was done directly in pen.  Not having a pencil sketch to work over made things easier to foul up, but it has also been really good practice for life sketching!

Ink Sketch of Sleeping Manx Cat
Kiba was sleeping in my computer chair as I sketched~

The next sketch I want to highlight also features one of our housecats!  This time it's Kiba, the black Manx we rescued a couple years ago.  He is a true rescue in that we noticed him living under our house and, over time, realized he was losing a lot of weight.  We knew he had belonged to some neighbors that moved away but they never came asking or looking for him.  Since it was obvious he had been abandoned, we brought him some food to build up his trust, coaxed him into a cat carrier, took him to the vet, and (after receiving a clean bill of health) brought him inside to become one of our housecats.  He's simply the most adorable little kitty (to be honest, I think that of every cat, but he really is unbearably cute!), a little wild and crazy, but cuddly and affectionate more often than not.  I'm very grateful to know this kitty!

Ink Sketch of Tartan Scarf
I'm not just thankful for my pets!  Scarves~

Although most of my favorite sketches feature animals, I've actually drawn a wide variety of things for this Thanksgiving project.  One of them is this cozy scarf!  In life, it's bright pink with blue, dark pink, and white tartan stitches.  I'm thankful for all my scarves, but this was the one I was wearing that day and it inspired me to use it as my subject.  I'm particularly fond of this sketch because, although there was no way to translate the scarf's cheerful colors with the tools I restricted myself to, I think the essence of the subject still came through.  I'm thankful for everything that keeps me warm during these chilly, snowy months!

Ink Sketch of Sleeping Shiba Inu
My Shibi-beebee was sleeping at my feet as I sketched~

Of all my Thankfulness sketches, I think the ones featuring my pets have come out the best.  I suppose it's easier because they're not as rigid a subject as, say, a 3DS or a space heater.  If I mess up sketching a pet, no one can really tell!

Anyway, this is a drawing of my Shiba Inu, Sun.  He's my youngest dog, though not my youngest pet.  You really can't tell what age he is, except that his muzzle is whiter than it used to be.  I became interested in Shiba Inu because they're a national treasure of Japan and, of course, because they're so terribly cute, but after bringing Sun into my life, I realized Shiba Inu are even better than that.  He's always ready to play or ready to cuddle, big and small enough to do both really well, he's fastidious and clean, and although he's quite mischievous, he generally listens once we say "no."  I'm super grateful for him!

Ink Sketch of Sleeping Hound-Mix
This is my big boy, Kenshi!  He snored as I sketched, ha ha.

This may be my favorite pet sketch from this project.  It's my mixed-breed dog, Kenshi.  He was laying on the couch, deep asleep, as I sketched him.  He's a senior dog, and shows it in his white, floppy face.  It's times like these, when he's calm and relaxed (not being overprotective or otherwise naughty), that I feel most thankful to have my oldest, biggest buddy.  Over the years we've been together, he's really taught me a lot about being a good, responsible dog owner.

Ink Sketch of Jacket Draped Over Chair
Another warm item!  I love being toasty warm and cozy.

The last sketch I'd like to focus on features my leather coat, draped over a chair at the cafe where my art group meets.  I'm thankful for outerwear in general, anything that keeps me warm and safe from harsh weather, but I'm particularly grateful for this coat.  It's one of those awesome thrift store finds, a perfectly serviceable, real leather coat, in a length and style I love, for a tiny fraction of what such a coat would cost brand new.  I love fashion--dressing stylishly gives me confidence and sets the tone for my whole day--but it's expensive, so coming across a find like this is special.  I'm thankful for the person who donated the item, thankful for the store that sold it at a generous price, thankful for the moment of exhilaration at finding it, and thankful for the coat itself, which keeps me feeling warm and looking good!

Although these six sketches are all I've included in this New Art post, there are plenty more--including my other household pets!--available for you to browse in this photo album.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Until then, have a safe, comfortable, delicious, and happy Thanksgiving!