Artwork Feature: Cats Always Get the 'Best Seat in the House'

I have so many ideas of things I want to paper sculpt and this little kitten sitting in the window is one idea I’ve had for a very long time, complete with birds in the tree and a butterfly right outside the window.

I started out drawing up some thumbnail sketches of my original concept — a little cat sitting in a window as a classic picture and a very typical, universal type of behavior that cats love to do. I needed to decide if the cat should be facing outside the window, should the cat be sleeping on the window sill or should the cat be facing the viewer, oblivious to all the exciting activities occurring outside the window. I decided on the latter. I liked the touch of humor it added to the picture.

After my initial pencil sketch was completed, I put tracing paper overtop of the sketch to do a very quick color sketch in color pencils before starting the painting.

At first I assumed I would be painting another orange tabby, but realized I couldn’t make the cat look like our cat, Tube Socks, because I needed the kitten to stand out against the “wooden” window sill. Even though my other cat, Molly, is a black, white and orange calico, I decided to make the kitten in this new design a tuxedo cat with black and white, which will be a good contrast against all the other elements in this little picture. I also wanted to add little hearts within the design. I cut out heart shapes in the curtains, added tiny hearts on the curtain rod and gave the little cat a heart charm on her collar.

This furry little kitten was a challenge to make out of paper because she is quite small, and the paper ‘fur’ is very fine. Each piece of fur is hand cut out of paper. The other challenge to the design is that the entire picture had to be quite small in order to fit into a small shadow box frame. The depth I had to work with inside the frame is less than 3/4 of an inch. The cat is completely 3D and has to fit on a paper “wood” shelf. The curtains are also 3D. After mapping out the depth of the various items, keeping everything in proportion with one another, I was ready to start the painting.

First I painted the background. Originally I was going to paint a little robin with some bird eggs in a nest. But then I decided to change it to a cardinal with a baby cardinal sitting in the nest. It adds more activities in the background that the cat is missing out on. I liked the idea of incorporating a touch of red in the background, which will coordinate with the red hearts in the curtains and the window. I also included a small butterfly outside the window checking out some flowers.

I hope you like this little kitten on the window sill. I titled this piece, “Best Seat in the House.”