This week I’m cat sitting Brian. We’ve hung out a few times now and it’s always a pleasure spending time with him. While I get on with my work in the day, he’s usually curled up tightly on the sofa. He’ll occasionally pop over to say hello, climb over my Macbook a few times and sit on my lap for a bit, kneading me with his claws.
Like most cats, he goes a bit hyper in the evening before bed time. Launching himself into the air, skidding through rooms or climbing up my legs while I’m cooking. On this visit I’ve decided to try and sketch him during some of his quieter moments. He’s so dark and fuzzy that sometimes when his eyes are closed he just blends into one big fluff-ball and it’s tricky to pick out any features! It’s been good practice though, trying to quickly get his form down before he shifts position and nice for me to have some cat company.
Drawing in our garden the other day I received a visitation from the Neighbour’s cat – Rory. I decided to make a little comic about our encounter…
Instructed to keep my eyes closed, I was led (quite literally) up the garden path of my parent’s homestead. Having been told nothing more than ‘pack some drawing stuff’ I naturally had a few suspicions about the nature of this belated birthday surprise. I’d thought perhaps a trip to a stately home, or some spot of natural beauty for a sketch and a picnic. It had crossed my mind as a fancy that my favorite winged creatures might be in some way involved, but I didn’t dare hope too hard in case of disappointment…
I opened my eyes and a parliament of three owls looked up at me.
My family had arranged for an owl specialist to bring three of her finest specimens to me, for an afternoon of drawing and cooing! I was a kid in my own miniature, personal, owlery store. If you love owls (and I’m almost certain you do) then you’ll appreciate that being so close to something so beautiful, intelligent and wild feels pretty special. So time being of the essence (we didn’t want to keep them too long) I started sketching. Each beast had a very distinct personality. Willow the calm, elegant barn owl. Magic, the little owl, an erratic, energetic fluff ball and Bracken the brown wood owl intimidating but very sophisticated and aware of her beauty. Each feathered head whipping round impatiently as I tried to capture their likenesses.
I’d hate to pick a favorite owl but I did feel that my drawings of Magic turned out the best. Here’s a selection of my sketches and photos from the day.
These owls are extremely well cared for and loved by the ‘Owls Out and About’ team who put on displays and raise money for charity by sharing owl love. If you are interested in having an owl experience of your own, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org