The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Thursday, 10 June 2010

A headless chicken!

Well - Where do I start? 
What with the Jean Haines workshop and the diving trip, on top of which I have four requests for various drawings, all on top of my OCA course, which I need to keep up with - I am almost so overwhelmed with things to do and to post that I don't know where to begin! Maybe I should draw a headless chicken and call it a self portrait!

I have decided that the best thing to do is go back in time to just before the Jean Haines workshop. This is when I was attempting to draw one of two cats, Flopsy, as requested by a friend of my Sisters.
Firstly, it was half term and Charlie had a couple of sleep-overs. This meant squeezing in time between making lunches, rescuing them from trees... yes - really - well, boys will be boys... and generally keeping an eye on them. 
Secondly, the small selection of photographs sent to me by e-mail where VERY difficult to work from to say the least - in fact one of them had the head chopped off so I'm not sure what I was meant to do with that! They were also very small images so when I tried to re-size them the became very blurred. 
Thirdly, I have never likes cats, nor have I met the cat and nor have I ever owned one! This might sound odd but when I drew our own dog Codi, which you can see on a previous post (A Dog's Life), it was far easier to capture her character because I have a personal connection with her. And when I drew 'Tak', also on a previous post, there was an emotional story behind it. 
Even so,  you can still see if you compare the two that drawing an animal you are familiar with from life gives a much better result!
Anyway, this drawing needs more work yet... The foot needs adjusting, the whiskers need sharpening, the fur needs softening and I need to add a lot more rich tan colour in to it too, at the moment there is too much white. Then I need to anchor the cat by adding his soft blanket.
However, I think before I do anything more, I need to see if my sister, Amanda, thinks this will be okay. I definitely need to ask her that before I begin the second cat!
Ordinarily I would post it once it was complete, but this time I am posting the incomplete drawing as a WIP (work in progress) and your thoughts would be most welcome! I am also showing the original photograph I am working from too and - just to give you a giggle, I am posting one of the photo's I was sent of the second cat! I had to laugh! Amanda - What where you thinking? Lol!

Flopsy the cat...

© Sandra Busby

Anyway - changing the subject, I have had lots of people asking how my Jean Haines workshop went, so I will be posting on that subject soon!

Also, Crystal Cook has invited her bloggy friends to join in on a sketch on a Monday post. It's come at a good time because I have been thinking lately that I am sometimes forgetting that my own blog is meant to be about sketching and not finished drawings. So, if my overflowing brain can remember, on Monday I will post a simple pencil sketch. Just, please don't visit Crystal's blog directly before or after mine as her sketches are actually stunning master-pieces!!!

Another interesting challenge was from Travelingsuep. In an effort to raise awareness, she has asked some of her bloggy friends to post a sketch relating to the Gulf of Mexico before the oil disaster. I would really like to do this and as soon as time allows I will post something - though it may be a little while. I would find it a pleasure to draw something like this anyway (though obviously not for those reasons), since as my regular readers will already know, I love the sea. 
I can really imagine what an awful effect the disaster has had beneath what should be beautiful blue water. If anyone wants to join in, that would be super!

Hmm... On the subject of sea, I should mention our trip to Cornwall. Should anyone ever visit, I would highly recommend Padstow. It's a beautiful place! However, as much as I love diving, the temperature of the water was a real shock to the system! The dive guide was wearing a dry-suit unlike us. We were in 7mm wetsuits and the cold was almost unbearable! To be honest it wasn't very clear and aside form crabs and lobsters there was little else to see. Still, never mind - It was a new experience and we should all embrace those whenever we can right? But still, next time will be somewhere hot, hot, hot!!!


  1. That's looking really good! Can I just remind you that it wasn't me who took the pics!! I just sent the batch on to you!!! x

  2. Considering the photo that you have to work on, I think you have done remarkably well Sandra. You haven't stated what size your picture will be, but I expect not very big!

  3. Okay Mam-Mams, you are off the hook! Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you think it's okay! xxxx

    And thanks Frank! It's a little smaller than an A4. Any bigger and I think it would be a nightmare!

  4. Sandra! You have done so well with this cat! Especially considering the blurry reference, it's awesome! I really love the way you've captured the fur on her back, it looks so real. And her cute little expression, and the colors. You really need to feel good about this, I think it's wonderful :)

    And hey thanks for the mention about my sketch post for Mondays, I will be looking forward to what you come up with, and you are just too kind about my sketches, yours are beautiful too :)

    Crabs and lobsters huh? But at least you got to be in your beloved ocean right? Still sounds like a ton of fun, beside the cold. Have a great day Sandra! :)

  5. thank you for commenting on my blog. I just love the colours in your cat. What a wonderful thing to be able to paint. If i could , i would paint all 4 of mine.

  6. Sandra,
    This is already very good. I think as you said with a little touches here and there its going to be really really good.
    And the reference pic that you used was a really tough one too. Considering that this is a great piece.

  7. Wow what a busy life you have Sandra.I look forward to seeing your many projects.

    Re cat, I'm also a dog person, but it looks good so far. Will you be putting it on something?

    Thanks for link to Gulf Challenge.

  8. Thank you Crystal! I did wonder about this cat but I am feeling more confident about it now after such encouraging comments! So, this weekend I will have to find something to sketch! Maybe something in the garden...?

  9. Thank you Melanie! And you can, you can! It just takes lots of practice. A few years ago I wouldn't have known where to start with most of the things I have drawn. Once i had learned the basic rules I just practiced as much as I could. I am still learning! So keep at it and you will be drawing your cats, no problems!

  10. Thank you Probal, you are very kind. It is tough working from a photo, but I suppose at least the cat can't move!

  11. Thank you Sue. It's funny how life is. There are times when nothing seems to be happening at all and then suddenly it all happens at once! Not quite sure what you mean by 'putting it on something' though? I will pop it in a frame if she likes it. The second cat is a different colour so I will do on a light background. Hopefully the two will sit nicely together as a pair.

  12. Pam and Kylie both think it is fantastic!

  13. fantastic sandra love the markings ... v busy and creative :)


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