Cats Drawn by TET - Age 11

Original Cat Art by TET,
Age 11. Pen and Pastel.
On my recent trip back to Perth, Western Australia, I visited my Aunt, who asked me if I wanted some pictures back that I had drawn her as a gift when I was just eleven years old.

The drawings were too big to fit on my scanner so I decided to just show you a sample from two of the best that my Aunt gave me.

The first image on the right is one half of a drawing with two cats in similar poses. I wanted to show this image because, if memory serves me correctly, it's a cat that I drew with very few references for the pose or even the structure of the cat's body.

That said I had been drawing and copying a lot of pictures of cats prior to this, so it's not as if I'd never drawn a cat before.

The second image is one from a larger page of many cats I drew prior to drawing the one above. You may notice a dramatic difference in the quality of the drawing.

Cat Art by TET, Age 11. Copied from a children's book.
Pen and Colour Pencil.
The reason for the quality difference between this and the first image is that this whole page of cats were all copied from a children's book of cats I'd gotten hold of. Obviously, at age eleven, it was relatively easier for me to reproduce someone else's art than to produce this kind of quality in an original drawing.

I would like to stress that the image wasn't traced, as evidenced by the fact that the central striped cat has a slightly lop sided head, where I didn't compensate properly for the angle I was drawing at. I also tried to match the colour scheme of my reference image as well.

Some artists are embarrassed to show their earlier art. I'm not one of them. Seeing my really early work is always an interesting reminder of just how far I've come. Apart from that I hope other aspiring artists find it interesting to see how I started out.

Along with my own original drawings I did a heck of a lot of copying of other artists work in my youth. It taught me a lot about drawing and helped me to advance my own style without me really even thinking about it.

In fact it wasn't until I started networking with other professional artists that I realized finding your own style was actually a thing that concerned them. I just drew things how I do, like I always have and people started to say I had my own unique style.

So, just to finish up this post, here's one of my recent cat artworks for comparison.

JAC's Back by TET.
Acrylic on Canvas.

3 comments:

  1. I haven't seen either of these drawings, but I wasn't around so it's not surprising. I liked copying pictures from books when I was school age. I used to copy line for line, and get it almost exactly how it was in the book.

    I've got a horse I drew jumping over a gate done this way from a children's nursery rhyme book, and it was all done just by the light of the black and white TV back in the early 60s, as we used to put the light out to view, and there was no such thing as a lamp at our house. Bad for the eyes really, but not really known then. Only thing to critize about the horse was that the head looked more like a cart horse's head, as the nose was too short, but still a good drawing of a horse's head.

    I copied cartoons this way from the newspaper, and did a big one of Andy Capp, plus some small strips as well. I put them up on the message board in our shabby tea room at work in my first job at 15yrs at a fashion shop to learn to do window dressing. I never took them with me when I left after 2yrs to go to work just next door at another fashion shop. They were just about exact replicas.

    I think I've mentioned before about people at school in art class at secondary school (equivalent to high school here) asking me to draw things for them, such as a witch or flames on a bonfire (they did scribble) and then I'd get told off for not finishing my picture!

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    1. I'm pretty sure you have seen these, you just don't remember them. Not that I'd expect you to remember them since I'd forgotten about them until Auntie Margaret showed them to me. Both were drawn in July of 1981.

      You could get back into drawing if you wanted to. I know many people who stopped drawing once they started a family but have taken it up again since retiring. Quite a few are doing really well since they got back into art too.

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  2. I'm sure I would have remembered them. I would have thought your Auntie Margaret would have wanted to keep them, or most of them anyway, depending on how many there were.

    It would be nice to do drawing again, I preferred it to painting, but I'd be rusty now. I think I've got enough with my writing though, as it takes me all my time to do that. Supposed to have a set day for doing it, or half a day ie: Monday maybe once a month, as I go out on the second Monday of each month for a lunch meeting with some ladies.

    Doesn't always work though, you have to be strict. I usually end up just squeezing it in at the last minute. Next Showcase is due out in July and I've got two articles in that this time which is what I usually aim for but didn't manage it last time. Last Friday was the first time I'd read anything out for weeks!

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