This was meant to be a quick warm up, but it turned into a comic that I’ve wanted to draw for a while. This is something that is extremely important to me, and I appreciate it if you read it.
A while ago, I heard a story that broke my heart. A family went a cat shelter to adopt. The daughter fell in love with a 3-legged cat. The father straight up said “absolutely not”. Because he was missing a leg. That cat was that close to having a family that loved him, but the missing leg held him back. Why?!
Many people have the initial instinct of “nope” when they see an imperfect animal. I get it, but less-adoptable does NOT mean less loveable. 9 out of 10 people will choose a kitten over an adult cat. And those 10% that would get an adult cat often overlook “different” animals.
All I want people to do is be open to the idea of having a “different” pet in their lives. Choose the pet that you fall in love with, but at least give all of them a fair shot at winning your heart.
Don’t dismiss them, they deserve a loving home just as much as any other cat. They still purr, they still love a warm lap, they still play, they still love you. Trust me, next time you are in the market for a new kitty, just go over to that one cat that’s missing an eye and see what he’s all about!
Let me tell to you a thing.
This is Lenore. I first saw her in a little cage at the Petco I frequent (I used to take my parents’ dog in for puppy play time), and she looked like the grouchiest, old, crotchety cat in the world, and I fell instantly in love. She was cranky, she was anti-social, hanging out at the back of her cage. Her fur was matted because she wouldn’t let the groomers near her.
She was perfect.
But I didn’t have a place for her. I wasn’t living in my own space yet, and where I was, I wasn’t allowed cats. So I pressed my face to the bars of her cage and I promised that if no one had adopted her by the time I’d bought a house, I would come back for her.
I visited her every week for over six months while I looked for a house. At one point, they had to just shave her entire rear-end because the mats or fur were so bad. They told me she clawed the heck outta the groomer that did it, screamed the entire time, and spent the next two days growling at anyone that came near the cage.
A couple of weeks later, I closed on my house. I went back and I got an employee, and I said: “That one. I need that cat.”
They got the paperwork and the lady who ran the rescue that was bringing the cats in told me that Lenore (at the time, Lila) was 8 years old, had been owned by an elderly lady who had died, and brought in to a different rescue, who’d had her for six months on top of the time I’d been seeing her at Petco.
This kitty had been living in a 3x3’ cube for over a YEAR because she was older and “less adoptable.”
I signed the paperwork, put her in a cat carrier, and drove her to my new home. I had pretty much nothing; a bed, an old couch, a couple of bookcases, and a tank of mice I called “Cat TV”. I let her out of the carrier and onto my bed, and I told her “I told you I would come back for you when I had a place. It’s not much, but it’s yours too now.”
Lenore spent the next three days straight purring non-stop. She followed me around the house purring. Sat next to me purring. Slept next to me purring. Leaning into every touch, purring, purring, always purring. She still purrs if you so much as think about petting her. She’s amazing, and I love her.
So, you know, if you’re thinking about adopting, and you see a beast that others consider “less adoptable,” think about Lenore.
when i die i want my body to be shot into orbit while this song plays
I’ve been getting a lot of asks lately about the brushes and textures I use in my work, so here’s a BIG FAT REFERENCE POST for those of you who were curious! Bear in mind that I’m really lazy and don’t know what half the settings do, so don’t be afraid to experiment to figure out what works best for you :>
I use the pencil tool with SAI’s native paper texture both for sketching and for applying opaque color with no blending. Lower opacities give it the feel of different pencil hardnesses, while full opacity makes it more like a palette knife, laying down hard-edged, heavy color for detail work or eventual blending with other brushes.
Mostly made this because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have to keep turning my textures off/opacity up when I wanted to ink something (even though I don’t do it very often), or lay down flat colors. I find the line quality to be much more crisp than Photoshop, and you can manually adjust in-program stabilization to help smooth out hand wobbles.
The plain ol’ brush tool acts as sort of an in-between for me in terms of brush flow. It’s heavier than my usual workhorse brush, for faster color application and rough blending, but not as heavy as the pencil tool, which has no blending at all. I like to use the canvas texture on this brush to help break up the unnatural smoothness that usually accompanies digital brushes, but it works just fine without.
A brush tool set to flat bristle is by far my favorite to paint with. I don’t use any textures with it because I think the shape of the brush provides enough of that by itself. I use it for everything from rough washes to more refined shaping and polish. It’s just GREAT.
Best used for smooth blending, washes, gradients, and smoky atmospheric effects.
Basically a grittier version of the watercolor tool, because too much smoothness weird me out. Good for clouds and fog, as the name suggests, or just less boring gradient fills.
To further stave off the artificially smooth look of digital painting, I almost always overlay some sort of paper texture, and it’s almost always this one, which I scanned and edited myself. You’re all welcome to use it, no permission required!
Using overlays in SAI is just as easy as using them in Photoshop. Just paste the texture into its own layer above everything you want it to apply to, and change the layer mode to Overlay. That’s it!
Want a more prominent texture? Up the contrast. Something more subtle? Lower the contrast or reduce the layer opacity. You can also use a tinted overlay to adjust the overall palette and bring a little more color unity to an otherwise disparate piece! Just be aware that too much texture can hurt the readability of the work beneath it, so I’d err on the side of subtlety.
Hope that helps!
When you find good merchandise of your favorite series
and then you look at the price