Monday, April 4, 2016

Cat Calcifer and Kid Couch Cushion in Pen

2 pen drawings, cat Calcifer and baby goat Couch Cushion
3" x 5" pen on paper.

I had intended these to be pen and wash, but once I finished Calcifer I knew I wanted to keep them pen drawings. He is an elegant brown tabby who curls up on my lap every time I go out to sit in the lawn chair in front of the house. He's very classic, a mackerel tabby with narrow stripes all up and down his body instead of the swirl on the side. Big green eyes and constant purring.

This started on cold nights or rainy days when I went out to smoke but now it's all the time. He knows he can get a good long cuddle, scritch and comfy lap every time I go out. I know every time I go outside I'll have a friendly barn cat come up, three out of four times it's Calcifer.

So he's the lawn chair cushion when I first go out, then I pick him up and sit down, put him down on my lap. He just relaxes at the lap transfer. Great cat friend, I can even draw over him without disturbing him.

Couch Cushion is a dark brown and black kid, the runt of the six baby goats born two weeks ago. He's gorgeous, the color of his brown fur is very rich and the black is shiny. Like all the kids, he's a meat goat so he gets a name that's a reminder not to get too attached. Other kids are named things like Parchment, Vellum, Lunchmeat and so on. I'm hoping at least one can be literally made into goat parchment instead of just leather or fur because that stuff is expensive and a pure joy to draw and paint on.

I've used parchment before with gouache and inks for SCA scrolls, but with a steady supply I might also turn to doing serious art on it. That and there's no reason I can't work small on parchment either. It comes out so smooth that it's a pleasure for miniatures, you can use the finest pen point you have and get good clean lines. Unlike paper though, a mistake can sometimes be carefully removed by scraping with a sharp craft knife or razor blade without destroying the surface. All this is reason to treat it like the precious art material it is.

But the fur on Couch Cushion is so cool that his hide will wind up made up into just that, for permanent comfort. They get slaughtered humanely and never see it coming, my daughter's done this before. We know where our food comes from and I can't believe how good it is.

The eggs from the hens you've seen me draw before are deep brown and inside the yolks are Cadmium Orange to Cadmium Red Light in color. When my son in law makes pancakes they're yellow. But the flavor is amazing. It's like eggs but more so, very rich and so wonderful. I'm spoiled from normal eggs and it's the same way with farm raised meat humanely slaughtered.

We even get beef this way because my daughter shoes horses and sometimes gets paid in steaks and meat from local farmers. Wow. It was like I'd never tasted meat before. An odd thing happens when the animal is terrorized on the way to slaughter, literally all its adrenaline and cortisol affects the flavor. If it had a full happy life ending in a quick surprise too fast to really hurt, the meat is a lot better and richer. This is why sometimes hunted meat comes out really good (provided your hunter got it clean on the first shot).

Life's good here in so many ways.


  1. Great post, lovely drawings!

  2. Purr, thank you! I could go on at length about all the birds and animals, it's great here! It hit 82 today too, wonderful weather!