All of you who know me know how much I love cats. I have had cats all my life and they are always a huge part of my daily living. I also love autumn and the beautiful fall colors. the deep, rich tones are always a pleasure to paint and work with.
Last year I had an idea for a plaque for autumn/fall/Halloween. Unfortunately, it was a bit late in the season when I thought of it and I had to move on to other things. I was determined to have it done for this year.
Like many ideas that I have, it developed slowly. Rarely does a design ever just pop into my head all at once. Usually it falls into place little by little, as if the fog was lifting. More often than not I am a little surprised at the final outcome when it finally becomes reality. Many times there were so many changes that only parts of the idea remain.
That wasn't the case though with my "Black Cat Society" plaque. From the beginning, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted the idea to head and what I wanted the final outcome to be like. I pictured a beautiful Gothic window in an stone building or castle. A lovely black cat sitting in the moonlight. A hat (of course) with some daring little mice peeking out. A crystal ball. Some potion bottles. A spooky candle. I even had a pre-concieved idea of their placement. Watching things materialize these past days has been both fun and exciting for me, and I am happy with the outcome.
But everything didn't come easy. I have had a couple of weeks of my back troubling me and I don't know if it affected my painting abilities or not, but there were several elements in this piece that I needed to do more than once. To be honest with you all – I am a little surprised that it looks as good as it does. I feel very lucky in fact that it all fell into place so well.
I took over 350 photos along the way. Today's job (and maybe tomorrow's as well) will be refining the photos and writing the instructions for the plaque. Because of the photos, that won't be too difficult a task. I am finally in the habit of snapping a picture or two each and every step of the way. This not only helps when writing the instructions, but also provides excellent visuals for the pattern packet itself. It breaks down a seemingly complex process into small, easy steps. Everybody wins.
I created the plaque using the same surface as my "Nevermore" Plaque (SLDP223 on my site):
I have been trying to use surfaces for more than one thing so that it is easier for me to keep up with thing. Besides – this is a nice sized plaque and I like it a lot.
As I left off yesterday, I noticed some refining to do before I continued on. I darkened up the crystal ball a bit, as I thought it looked a little too bright. That was done in several layers. I also added some highlights to the berries on the hat so they stood out a little more:
I then worked on the shelf items. I finished up the potion bottles and also the skull candle holder and candle. I added in a little spider and web under the shelf too. I think he looks pretty cool. (The web is in metallic pearl paint and much more subtle than it looks in the photograph):
I added a little mischevious bat on the upper left corner next to the window. I didn't know how it would look, but I truly love him! He even has little pearly fangs!
Finally, I outlined the black matte lettering very carefully with metallic gold paint.
I wasn't sure if it would look nice or distract fromt he design, but I think it came out stunning. I am really happy with it:
The final results with everything together came out pretty nice.
I am pretty happy with it overall.
I have already had several inquiries regarding the pattern. As I mentioned above, I will be working all day today and hopefully getting it on the site over the weekend. I will announce it on the Sheila Landry Designs Facebook page and also in my painting groups when it is ready. (Please give our page a "Like" if you haven't already. Facebook is making it harder and harder to be seen and we need all the help we can get. Comment and share often if you will to help our visibility.)
The pattern will be available both digitally (PDF) as well as print and will be filled with full color step-by-step photos, as all of my patterns are. I will also be selling the surface for it, as well as a combo kit of the pattern and surface for those interested.
Although this took a little longer than anticipated, I am really pleased with the outcome of it. I am even considering whether or not to make it into a scroll sawing pattern for my woodworking followers. Your thoughts on it if you would like it would be appreciated. :)
I hope you all have a nice weekend. It is beautiful and sunny here and there isn't a cloud in the sky. It is calling for some rain though tomorrow and throughout the weekend. We shall see.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend ahead. Thank you for all the encouragement on this piece. It really helps to know that what I do is liked.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"