Batman… cat!

There’s a cat in the neighbourhood with some very distinctive markings. I call him “Batman”. Fittingly, he tends to hide in shadows while stalking our cat, Bruce.

Since Mao passed away, I’ve been slowly working on a children’s book about her. I’ve written the text, but I really need to improve at drawing cats in order to hit the level of quality I hope to achieve for the illustrations.

I feel that I’m making progress, but I’m not there yet. At the moment, I’m focussing on learning shape and texture by sketching in greyscale. I want the final illustrations to be more stylised and simplistic (and colourful obviously!)

I tend not to use commercial software (I don’t have Photoshop or Painter). So I’ve been using MyPaint, an open source painting program with a great range of brushes and an “infinite” canvas. (There’s a good introduction here).

It’s taking a while to learn the ins and outs of the MyPaint, but I can see a lot of potential in it. I get the feeling that I need to: find a set of brushes that I like; and work out how/if I want to use layers. Aside from that it’s all practise I suppose.

Hopefully, my time at the cat sanctuary in Langkawi will help me improve quickly. I probably won’t have a tablet and PC with me, but I will have a sketchbook!

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