This Persian cat will be used as a spot illustration in the Iran spread in my upcoming picture book, My Bed. The story about children’s sleeping places in different cultures around the world is written by Rebecca Bond and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2020. Children’s book publishers need at least a year to design, print and market a book, so I have to have everything finished by the winter of 2019. That means I’m practically working around the clock to get it done in time.
Just for fun, I’ve added a collection of cats from Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes at the end of this post.
In addition to creating full page illustrations, I’m making a series of animal icons that will appear on the adjacent text panels throughout the book. The miniature stuffed animals relate to the geographic area of each corresponding scene.
Here are links to posts showing the other animal icons I’ve already made for the book: Goldfish and Elephant, Parrot and Sheep, Rooster, Duck, Camel, Cow, Giraffe and Bunny. To see process photos of the finished illustrations for the book, click these links: Iran, South America, Russia, Japan, Afghanistan, North America, India, Holland, North Africa.
The research on Persian cats led to photographs of fluffy dark grey felines whose faces are noticeably different from regular house cats. Their cartoon-like features remind me of those 1960’s paintings of wide-eyed waifs, with large eyes and stubby little noses. First, I wrapped tapestry wool around its pipe cleaner legs. Then, I stitched features onto its felt face. With pinking shears, I cut a mane out of felt and stitched the face on top.
For the tail, I sewed a strip of felt around a pipe cleaner.
To help make the ears point up, I sewed wire along the top edges. For a finishing touch, I added some tapestry wool stitches to its coat.
As a basis of comparison, I’ve selected a group of cat details from illustrations in my 2010 children’s book Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Autographed copies are available in my Etsy Shop.
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