Sketching My Cat Sleeping Close to Me

cat sleeping 01

Sketching My Cat Sleeping Close to Me

Sketching My Cat Sleeping Close to Me.

I’ve sketched several times our cat, but this time I felt different, because our cat is not a cuddly cat.
Our cat has a sweet name, Amelie (like Amelie in the wonderful movie), a gorgeous white hair, soft paws. But it’s nasty as Bengal tiger. Amelie it is not definitively a cat that you can cuddle like in the movies or cartoons.
We live with Amelie, but we suppose to be the guests not this white ball.

I was sitting on the couch while emptying my backpack. And I was enjoying recapping all the (too much…) stuff I carry everyday. And I felt very comfortable. Suddenly the cat arrived to me, purring as there was no tomorrow, and slowing caressing me in circular motions. At the end Amelie seated near to me and took all the strange feline positions possible. Then my cat started sleeping.

That’s the way because I felt weird. Because I received cuddle from our beloved white beast, and seeing my cat sleeping near to me made me so happy.

Luckily, very luckily I was emptying my back pack and I found immediately my Essential monochrome sketching kit. I thought also that I ever needed something else.

I started sketching with my fude pen, very loosely. The paws was taking some strange figures like a python in the rain forest. Very loose sketching, my cat sleeping was absolutely not caring about me.

my cat sleeping 03

Then later, once realized that the feline fury was really sleeping (or telling to me that…) I also went for a calm and relaxed sketching.
You know, having this chance, in a shadowed room, comfortably seated and with this white beloved cat sleeping it’s an unbelievable chance to get.

So I sketched these two loved pages of my cat sleeping.

cat sleeping 01 cat sleeping 02

I was also very happy to make such a minimal sketch with a minimal equipment. A Staedtler pigmented pen and a Moleskine Pocket sketchbook. And just a little touch of a Platinum Fude Pen.
I enjoyed a lot, really a lot, and I will remember that quiet and purr moments for all my life.



Ps: going to finish this Moleskine, I can’t see to start the Stillman&Birn Alpha or a Gamma in 4″x6″. So far the best pocket sketchbooks around!

At the port side before undergoing a surgery

At the port side before undergoing a surgery

Some days ago I was at the port side before undergoing a surgery. Nothing serious but important. I was slight in advance for this appointment, so I went around the city with my scooter like a mad beetle.
Probably I was searching for an inspiration or to breathe good air before having my cuts.
In the search of inspiration I was wasting some of the advance time gained.

And as happens often to me I end close to the sea and the water. My favorite element.
In this case the port side of my city.
So I left my scooter. And I walked only few meters from it when I saw these two young guys. I was making a lot of movies in my mind, why they are here instead going to school, a story about a young love. First words and hugs under a sunny day near the seaport.
Movies like that. They are happening to me anytime I see some interesting people to me. I try to figure out their lives from they gestures, eyes or from some details.

So I stared standing near a bollard and I quick sketched this scene only with pencil over my ever ready Stillman&Birn beta sketchbook. I draw the main lines. I was trying to record as much as possible with my eyes and my heart.
But I took the same a horrible snapshot of the moment also with my iPhone and I left the place.

at the port side 01

Once home, the day after I went to make some more lines with my Lamy Safari back again with full Platinum Carbon Ink. I was quite suffering and I probably left some details. The picture I took with the mobile was not much helpful.

I’m honest, looking after the drawing seems I overworked a bit. I used also some new brushes but still not happy completely. I’m just happy that I used my watercolors like a baby rookie.
So this experience at the port side ended. And so also the surgery.


A great swap this february

great swap 01

A great swap is here!

I was missing a swap since a long time. It’s not that I don’t want to make a swap with friends, it’s simply that I didn’t find the time to make it. Also choosing the right things to swap is hard. I usually go to swap something that I love and not something that I don’t need. That’s to me a big difference.

Well this the time for a great swap.

February swap 01

Everything is brand new. Everything has a good reputation and quality.

I’m swapping this Noodler’s Konrad Tahitian Tortoise fountain pen, still untouched. Just to go out of the box. February great swap 02

one of my pocket Leather cover (the #5 made) and the glorious Moleskine Cahiers.

February great swap 03

Although Moleskines are not the best with fountain pens, the before mentioned fountain pen can be tweaked. That means that you can almost run dry with ink (and in this case will be excellent for ‘skines) or you can have a gusher. Anyway, it’s here!   What to do to take part to this great swap? Simple! Just comment on bottom of this post  what you would like to swap. Be creative! Everything is art related is fine: books, materials, brushes, paper, great hand carved mugs, another pen, another notebook… I don’t know!

Whatever. Just be creative.

My new leather pen case

My new leather pen case

My new leather pen case is something that I’m very proud.Well I need it. I made it. My way. I’m often travelling (now a bit less honestly) but even on the daily commute it’s good to protect my fountain pens and some more. And as a sketching aficionado but also pen addict is good to have some case like this one.

As most of my leather projects so I have the travel in mind. That means to me no use of metals, keep it simple but reliable and easy maintained with a minimum care. And I love the vegetable tanned leather that takes patina and to hand-made everything so… 🙂

I also make my personal leather balm for this kind of finish, that is so good that if I change only one ingredient of the recipe I can use it also for my skin. I care.

I always keep it (over)stuffed, probably too much stuffed. Even the Rotring Art Pens. Too much. But that’s the way it works! You think to keep you minimalist  and light and on the bare minimum. So  I made this leather pen case small, and I started start like that.

leather pen case 04


No way, at least for it works only for at least one month. Then later I will again my daily bag fill with lots of stuff, lots of pen and all odds. I just miss my mechanical pencil here because I lost it.

leather pen case 01

I also added my personalization touch, an anchor and my initials. I use elastic cords as much as i can in my leather project so to feed my “travel” concept. They are also reliable, easy found all over the world so easily replaceable. And you can replace easily also with some more. Just as example in Africa I replaced my broken elastic cord of my travel leather covers with some raw cord. It worked.

leather pen case 02

Just a side view of hand stitching or the “saddle stitching”. It’s still the strongest stitching for leather, and I use mostly waxed linen thread. I do it at the old-fashioned way, and this leather pen case takes strength with it. I kept the side gussets not that deep. Still wanting something not too thick. And I care about the borders and all details.

leather pen case 05
As many friends know I have also a small shop on Etsy. Feel free to take a look at it, even to leave a feedback or to say hello Stefano! And mention my site. That’s better. 🙂


A view from my office window

A view from my office window

A peek view from my office window.

Strange day yesterday. Not a good weather for sketching during the lunch break, in fact there is a lot of wind and a lot rain sprays. Something that can nervous anyone easily. And also the pages of any notebook could be wounded by unwanted sprays. No no.

I will sketch standing in front of my window. It’s a lot of time that for one reason or another I was not sketching standing. Tiny challenge accepted.

A view from my office window
Here you can my office window. A peek to see my Kuretake waterbrushes, my Stillmn&Birn notebook, my always ready watercolor Winsor&Newton Bijoux Box plus the essential monochrome notebook kit (that I used this time as spare for the black pens).

So starting from my view of yesterday I took time off even from my meal. I just tried to dedicate as much time as possible to sketch. It was not easy. Just imagine that you are standing in front of the window in your office. And if people passes, they look at me like a mad man looking a t the sky counting clouds or something like that, while shaking and moving a little. I think that a strange show indeed. But I don’t care. I’m in front of my office window and I’m flying free.

I was going slow for my personal tastes, and moreover I felt that my patience was easily going away. Running out of time probably although the outlining of this sketch went away pretty smoothly. This time I outlined using my back-up pen a Staedtler Pigmented Pen instead of my lovely workhorse, my Lamy Safari fountain pen. I just realized that from time to time fountain pens needs to be refilled…

Well, I love to do the jobs done and this time I was also focusing in making this sketch as much complete as possible, in the 30 minutes free that I set as limit. The notebook teared in the middle, while I was holding it standing. I don’t know why seems that the binding was not working. Am I too rude? Well I don’t think I’m a rude boy,  so but this time my beloved Stillman&Birn Beta Notebook behaved like so… I love you the same and I will use it until over.

So I started to go for heavy washes on the background using a al ot of water. I wanted to represent the cloudy and subtle appearance of the strange blue grey sky.I used only the broader Waterbrush for everything, from the backgrounds to the details. Filled two times with water. I later used a fine waterbrush just for few details, and added some touch with the Platinum Fude Pen.

oA view from my office window 01
Once dried the top corner of the notebook’s page were curling… too much water? Strange!

I’m using  a lot this one. The use of fude pen is essentials to me in these days, and the more I use it, the more I feel it indispensable. Just small touches of black pigmented ink and the sketch seems lifting more to the eyes. Just like peppering a meal. Just a bit.

I suggest to buy a Pentel or Platinum fude pen just for start. You soon will feel why they are so good.