Amy Lamp

Designer, maker, pet enthusiast

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Nesting kitty

I love Sandra's style and adorable little nesting deer! I wanted to take some of the elements from her project that I was particularly drawn to and create my own nesting kitty.

I started with reference photos of cat faces and catnip, which is the plant kitty is holding in his paw. 

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Practicing the strokes before starting was a really good idea — my blended shapes along the top row show that I used too much water in the beginning, but then eventually got the hang of using less water and softer strokes. 

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For my color palette, I wanted to stick with earthy tones, and a neutral grey (that's actually a soft blend of all of my paints left over in my mixing palette). I'm hooked on Quinacridone Gold right now, so it has a major part as well.

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I stayed on the subtler side of adding white and black finishing details. I think if I were going to do another of these I'd push those details farther.

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My biggest challenges on this project were:

  • working around and erasing pencil lines (some artists don't sweat those, but this illustration seems so tight and controlled that I wanted to get rid of pencil marks as much as possible)
  • smooth gradients around the main body
  • painting around the leaves and motifs in the main body
  • keeping both sides of the kitty symmetrical

After seeing the final result, I realize that I could have painted pretty much all of the details in the main body after doing the full yellow blend, rather than painting around small leaves.

My favorite parts of this project were doing the ears (so cute) and painting on subtle color changes with a small brush, and getting more familiar with soft blending. 

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