The Friday Art Cat: “Charcoal Maine Coon”


“Charcoal Maine Coon”

I was moved to do a charcoal sketch of my Maine Coon, Orlando, by something I read in a book.
It was in “Portrait Drawings by John Singer Sargeant”, and said, “…instead of time- consuming oil paintings he came to prefer charcoal drawings that could be produced in a single sitting about two hours in length. From 1910 to his death in 1925 he made over 500 such drawings, while painting fewer than 30 oil portraits”.

I find using charcoal a somewhat difficult, smudgey exercise, but I love it as it is so quick, and you can work in “mass” (areas of darks and lights) as opposed to just “line” very easily.

Let me know what you think please?


I am an artist making work mostly of animals and people, specialising in oil painting and soft pastel.  Three cats live with me – Maine Coon Orlando, Bengal Pandora and black moggy Rio. 

If you’re interested in commissioning me for a portrait or purchasing any of my work, please contact me.





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8 thoughts on “The Friday Art Cat: “Charcoal Maine Coon”

  1. Hangaku Gozen says:

    Lovely sketch! I love the way you’ve created the contours on the cat’s face.

    I like using charcoal as well, since it’s a lot easier to create depth and shadow without all those lines. 🙂 I don’t like the messy “crumbs” and smudgy stains charcoal can leave on furniture and fabrics, however. I once absent-mindedly wiped my fingers on my pants after finishing a charcoal sketch in a figure drawing class. Happily, the smudges came out in the wash, but I had a meeting and some errands to run before I went home that day. I can only wonder what people thought when I walked in with charcoal all over me!

  2. Michael Seidel says:

    I love the essence that you’ve captured here, stillness, motion, contemplation, fluffiness and confidence, along with long, long fur. What a beautiful cat and wonderful piece of art you’ve made from Orlando. Cheers

  3. Rohvannyn says:

    I’m impressed with the fur you rendered, particularly around the neck. That’s always been a challenge for me, so I’m extra impressed. I too like the way you can easily create masses with charcoal.

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