Creature Feature: Making a 'Kitty Cat' Ready to Pounce

Over the years, I’ve drawn and painted many cat illustrations — from hidden object illustrations with kittens, magazine illustrations of kittens, greeting cards, fabric with kittens, a sleeping orange tabby cat, a very large painting of a kitten and now this little “Kitty Cat” in paper sculpture.  

Kittens are so curious and inquisitive — looking around their new world and deciding what to investigate next. That is where my idea came from for this paper sculpture. I wanted to try to capture that quick motion (actually non-motion) in a little kitten’s life where they are still just for half a second — where they will stop in her tracks, and look around before pouncing at that blade of grass blowing in the wind or tiny little ant crawling along in the grasses. That was the moment I wanted to depict.

I am sure there will be many more cat paper sculptures in my future, but this time, for ”Kitty Cat,” I wanted to highlight the kitten and really make her the center of attention without any distractions around her. This is actually a little bit of a challenge for me, because I usually add lots of objects and things in my paintings. So, it is difficult at times to keep things simple.

First, I painted the background in watercolor and gouache. As you move forward to the mid-ground and foreground of the design, I started to add more dimension to the grass, adding hand cut, painted grasses and attaching them to the painting.

For the orange tabby kitten, her body starts to take on a three-dimensional effect and her head is completely 3D. After I matted the “Kitty Cat,” I decided I wanted her tail coming right out of the paper, over top of the white mat.

Hopefully this little cat looks like she is going to walk right out of the paper to investigate something new and exciting!