Making All Creatures Great and Small Cats!
One Illustration, Two Different Slogans
Watercolor on Arches cold press
The Paw Project: Support the Claws!
One of my followers on Google suggested that I submit a design for a T-shirt contest that the Paw Project was holding. It is a great cause, so I set right to work, with only a month before the deadline.
I had a lot of fun with this illustration and design, even though in the end the Paw Project didn't chose mine. I had put a lot of time and heart into the illustration. Fortunately, I found a new purpose for my pyramid of cats!
After I first learned about the contest, I read over all the requirements and drew out several designs. My favorite was a wobbly pyramid of cats. The contest guidelines specified that The Paw Project logo and name be spelled out. I wanted the tiger to look as if he were holding the logo, which was a nod to how the Paw Project started (raising money and awareness to help big cats who had been declawed). Once the tiger was established in the design, I had to do some research and play around with the proportions of the other cats. The photo above shows how I refined the cougar's expression from the original marker doodle to the resized sketch.
To have the Paw Project logo print over the tiger's chest, I needed to keep the area flat looking: I couldn't shade that area as I would normally do in order to make the chest look three dimensional. I also needed to reposition the front paws so that the area would be large enough to fit the logo.
My son thought up the slogan for my entry, “Support the Claws"
I had to watch a few tutorials on YouTube to figure out how to merge the logo into place, but in the end I managed..
Over the next few weeks, many Paw Project followers posted the designs they were submitting. It was really amazing to see so many great ideas from the supporters of this cause.Of All the Creatures, Great and Small, I Love Cats Best of All!
In the end, the Paw Project chose other designs for their fundraiser. I was getting ready to store my entry away in my portfolio, when I got an idea to recycle the design.
First, I needed to fill in the area where the logo had been before. My husband and I bounced ideas back and forth before we came up with the new words to print above the cat pyramid.
When I had been working on this illustration for the Paw Project, I had changed the proportions and made the tiger's chest flat so that he could be holding the logo. Now I scrubbed out as much paint on the front and side of the tiger so that I could make him look more three dimensional. I use sturdy watercolor paper, but even so I wasn't able to get all that I wanted off, and the scrubbing left the paper surface in that area damaged.
Another way to hide the proportions I had changed on the tiger was to put something in front of his chest. I drew out a little tiger tabby to go in front of the big tiger. Because the scrubbed area was damaged, I made the tiger kitten into a little cut-out. Because it was a relaxed Sunday morning, I let the tiger cut-out play with Tickles for a while before I glued it into place. Tickles was not amused.
Nor was Tickles amused that her sister Marina made it into the illustration, and Tickles did not. It all comes down to character: Marina has such an easy going spirit that I can imagine her curling up on top of a mountain lion!
Another cat snuck into the revised illustration after I glued the tiger kitten into place. The calico made the cat pyramid a little less wobbly...
Of all creatures great and small, I love cats best of all.
This design is available on a wide range of products.
Please note that all copyright and reproduction rights remain with the artist.