A-Z Challenge

#AprilA2Z Art Sketching through the Alphabet “E”

Hello, Kitten & Dawgs!Β  I’m excited you joined me for the next A2Z alphabet prompt. I got energized for today’s alpha character, the letter “E” and my first inspirational sketch is an enormous elephant.

I always wanted to ride an elephant but today I’m content to keep my feet on the ground, plus it really looks uncomfortable.

How about an encouraging symbol for many Americans, the eagle?

A purrfect subject to sketch is something we see occasionally on our trips to the Smoky’s grazing in the fields near the Visitor’s Center in Cherokee, North Carolina – the enchanted elk!

I made an earnest attempt to duplicate these critters. Much work is still needed but I’m okay with that. I know I can enhance the quality on my next go-around. πŸ˜‰

What equipment do you use in your creative pursuits in the arts, kitchen, behind the lens, beyond the camera, or with your computer?

Hopefully, what I share with you every day will encourage you to do something that interests you that you’ve long put off because like me you just don’t think you can. My advice is, just do it! Maybe, you’ll be surprised. I know I was! πŸ™‚

Leave a comment, I love the encouragement! πŸ˜‰ Are you eager to make the effort to embark your own enthusiasm? Would you care to share “E” word subject prompts for me to etch?

I’m heading off to link up with other fellow AtoZers and you’re invited to come along.Β  I’ll see you on tomorrow for the next installment of Art Sketching through the Alphabet!






A2Z Art Sketching Through theΒ  Alphabet post recap:

  1. “A” for Angels
  2. “B” for Boys, little
  3. “C” is for Cows, Chicken & Chicks, and Big Cats
  4. “D” for Dog
Create and Craft

I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • Arlee Bird

    Nice menagerie of E animals. When I was in kindergarten I thought I was exceptional at drawing elephants. I wish I could see one of those old drawings to see if they were really as good as I thought they were back then.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  • Sharon Himsl

    Oh, I had to pop over and see the elephant. I love elephants and you did a fine job, with the other drawings too :). My creativity when it comes to art is to play with clip art and photos I take. I also play with a drawing tool on my computer, but the results are more suited to a kindergartner!

    “Female Scientists Before Our Time”

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Sharon, Don’t sell yourself short. I bet your sketching is better than you give yourself credit. Sometimes you gotta start out simple to find the confidence to do more or at least that’s the way it happened with me. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Debbie, thanks! I enjoyed drawing my “E” series of sketches. After this week I won’t have many posts that have more than one sketch. I got carried away after I had gone through the alphabet last month and thought I had a chance to create more before the challenge started but I didn’t. Oh well…I can save whatever pops in my head for another time. πŸ™‚

  • handmadejewelryhaven

    Beautiful work indeed!
    You are a natural creative!

    Thank you for sharing your artwork with us!

    – Lisa

  • Suzanne Gunter McClendon

    These are great, Cathy! I especially love the elephant. My post today tells why. πŸ™‚

    I have coloring books and a sketch pad and I have Adobe CS4 and Painter 11 on my computer. I also try to be creative/artistic with the way I capture things with my camera. Sometimes I get lucky, like with the way overblown photo of our sweet Callie a few weeks ago. Little did I know, that would be one of the last photos I would be able to take of her. πŸ™

    I totally agree with your “just do it” attitude. I want to do sketches. I have a series in my head already. I have the pencils (sketching and watercolor). I have the sketch pad. But, I have an even bigger dose of fear of failure. How did you get to a point of making yourself just jump in there and do it?

    I am enjoying your sketch series very much. Keep up the great work. πŸ™‚ Have a blessed night.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Suzanne, fear of failure is human but I realized I couldn’t fail if I didn’t try but failing to try made me a failure. WOW, that’s kinda deep for this early hour. I guess my coffee is working. πŸ™‚ I’m happy you’re enjoying my sketches and I hope you get started. You’ll find reward in your creativity. If you’re like me and I have a sneaky feeling that you are, then this is for you more than anything else and should others like the work then hooray! Life is too short to fret over the “what ifs” or “why didn’t I” of life. I’m issuing you a personal challenge…I dare you…NO, I double dog dare you to pick up your pencil and begin drawing! Love & hugs to you!

  • Birgit

    All 3 are really well done! I love how the elephant is staring right out to us. I do still want to ride an elephant. The eagle is excellent in the action shot and the elk looks like he is ready to call for a mate. Well done!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Birgit, I get a momentary urge to ride an elephant but I know the experience won’t be excellently what I think it’ll be and that’s when the urge passes. πŸ™‚ I’m too practical I guess. lol I’m tickled how the eagle and elk conveyed what I intended others to read in my sketches. Thanks for sharing with me what you sensed in my drawings!

  • Alex

    Oh these are great! I’m trying to get a better feel for watercolors this challenge, in monochrome no less! Today’s is the first one I’ve been somewhat happy with though. Let’s keep practicing! We can get where we want to be I’m sure!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Alex, you’re doing a good job with watercolors. I hope to get into watercolors eventually but first I need to feel comfort with sketching my subject and I totally agree – let’s keep practicing! That’s the only way we’ll get better. πŸ˜€

      • Alex

        I think you’ll find that your sketching skills transfer somewhat, but painting is rather different. Controlling the brush, picking the right brush for the job… (not sure I’ve got that down myself xD)
        The watercolor pencils might use more sketching skills though.
        Go at your own pace, but don’t be afraid to dabble in different media while you do. ^^

        • Cathy Kennedy

          Alex, thanks for your advice and suggestion. I certainly will give the watercolor pencils a try first. I don’t have the right control with sketching and a brush will be even trickier. Thanks for pointing that important fact out. Have a good day. The good thing is you’re on your way to better control with each painting you create!

          • Alex

            I’m actually better with a brush most days. (When I tried comics the penciling took me ages. That’s probably because I could correct though. I don’t sketch out my paintings beforehand so it’s harder to correct so I just go with it.) ^^ They’re just different. Wrote some more in reply to your comment on my blog regarding materials, if it’s helpful.
            I see from today’s you’re already dabbling in watercolor pencil though. πŸ™‚

  • Myke Todd

    My daughter is infatuated with all things elephants… stuffed animals and miniature figures and books and such, as a child, and she still holds them to heart today. She would hang the sketched featured here, on her wall.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Myke, Elephants are magnificent creatures but the only elephant I can say I was fond of is Dumbo from the Disney children’s animation. I thought about sketching him but I wanted to do a life-like one this time. Maybe next time, though. There are many people who have a fascination with elephants. We have good friends who collect jade elephants which are really beautiful. I wouldn’t mind having an elephant of jade on display. πŸ™‚ I don’t know how well it’ll do but you’re welcome to save or print my elephant sketch for your daughter. Maybe, she’ll like it but more importantly, she’ll LOVE that her daddy was thinking of her. Hey, I know little girls hold an extra special place in good ole Dad’s heart.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Kristin, Yes the National Park Service released elk into the western North Carolina mountains several years ago and with great success adapting and growing. The best time to spot them generally is in the late afternoon hours beginning in August but we did see them one time them in June or July earlier in the day in another part of the park away from everyone. They were right beside the road grazing. I could not have been more excited if I had tried to be part of that experience. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and I’m hoping to your little niche in Blogosphere first thing this morning! πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Ellen, Pretty much after this week, it’ll be just one sketch per post unless I find time to do some sketching in-between visits and responding to comments. Anything is possible when I get a creative streak!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Annie, I can’t believe it, either. Partly I felt I didn’t have any real ability but the biggest thing was being overwhelmed with raising children and home-educating them. I was left too exhausted to anything more than nothing. That was really easy to do, too. I am enjoying myself immensely and I’ happy I finally did something about it.

  • lorigg

    Your sketch of the eagle captures the strength of the majestic bird. I continue to enjoy the various poses you choose for the animals. I look forward to the rest of the alphabet.

  • moondustwriter

    The eagle is my favorite of this set. They are all nicely done, Cathy.
    I had done Elephant for one of my “E”s in a past year. My sketch I did on a kitchen table while we are on vacation with a pen and a spare piece of paper. I have been able to cover over my amateur drawings by layering them on photos. Yes I cheat.

    Happy drawing.

    Today had to be an Elephant A Piece of Uganda

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Tracing an image is a common thing to do and it could actually help to strengthen your art ability. I’ve learned to see shapes in whatever I’m drawing which need to be connected and with the how-to instructions makes drawing easier to do. πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting today!

  • greyzoned/angelsbark

    Hey Cathy, I’m taking a break from being unplugged and making the rounds today. So glad to have come by on the letter E as I absolutely LOVE your sketches of these magnificent animals! I love your elephant. I’m so enamored with elephants: in all their magnificence they are such gentle and sensitive beings. I’m so glad that circuses around the world are FINALLY retiring their animal acts. The circus elephants have endured so much abuse over the years. It always makes me cry to think of how much their precious spirits have been broken at the hands of brutal trainers and handlers. Finally they will reign triumphant as public outcry has changed their fate. I would love to spend time with an elephant. They remind me of horses in their sensitivity and connectedness. Your sketch has definitely captured their awesomeness.

    And your sketch of the eagle is stunning! It has such movement, which I would think is hard to translate onto paper. I also love the peace that is conveyed through your elk sketch.
    Fabulous work Cathy! I envy your talent.

    I miss all my BOTB buddies and should be returning to it soon. I just needed a break and honestly, it’s been really nice to step away from the computer for a while. I am a bit disappointed that I’m not participating in the A-Z this year, especially because I had a great theme (One-Hit Wonders from the 70s) and had almost half of my posts completed but at least I have a good head-start for next year.

    Have fun with the A-Z and I should be stopping by again this month sometime…

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Michele, It does my heart good when someone gives of themselves. It really shows in the things they say, like your thoughtful comment. So, thank you, dear friend! When I first began sketching I did my main subject but that didn’t suit me and so I went back adding a backdrop. It really transforms the feel of the picture, especially with the eagle. I’m delighted how you and Tom mentioned sensing its motion through the air. That makes me very happy. πŸ˜€ It’s good to step away from blogging and is very necessary with recharging oneself. The good news is your faithful followers are always here for ya whenever you get back to it. Perhaps next April you’ll be up to the challenge, especially with most of your posts done already. That’s awesome! This is the first year that I managed to get all of my posts done before April which tickled me to death. Thanks for visiting and enjoy the break!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Thanks! I certainly don’t have an eagle eye and I really want to try to get this purrfected, so I am going to draw another. Not now but after the April challenge is over. I’m so happy you dropped by today!

  • Thomas Anderson

    Hi, Cathy!

    Happy E Day to you, dear friend! You did a great job of drawing that elephant. The head-on p.o.v. is unusual and interesting because most of the artwork I have seen with elephants shows them from a side view. Your rendering of the eagle convinces us that the bird is in motion, swooping in to capture prey just outside the frame. Well done! Your eagle sketch reminds me of a link my friend up in Pennsylvania sent me a couple of days ago. It is a live bald eagle cam in Hanover, PA, near York. The camera is mounted next to an eagle’s next. There are two young birds in the nest. During daylight hours you can tune in live and watch the parent bird tearing pieces of its prey apart, chewing the food and dropping small bits into the hungry beaks of the babies. Peek in at them during the day. It is fascinating to watch!


    You also did a fine job on the majestic elk. He appears to be stepping gingerly across a field and pausing for a moment, his senses alerting him to the presence of nearby humans watching him through their binoculars. You and DH are lucky to spot elk on some of your trips over to the the Smokys.

    Congratulations on creating a fine set of animal drawings for the letter E, dear friend Cathy, and have a wonderful day!

    • Cathy Kennedy


      You’re so thoughtful with your comments. You totally get everything about my posts and seem to know the right things to say. I’m glad you liked today’s art sketch contribution. These aren’t purrfect but I hope to go back to redo the eagle and elk at some point. I need more practice with getting these elegant creatures just right. Oh yeah, we are indeed blessed to see elk in the Smoky’s and it’s never a disappointment to see these enormous animals up close. Generally, they do not seem bothered by humans but I’d stay far from them unlike some eggheads venturing to the field where we commonly see them. What can I say, there’s no fixing stupid!

      Thanks for passing the live feed to the eagle cam in PA. I tried watching it but it must be congested this morning because all I got was a still shot. πŸ™ I’ll try again later, though. Thanks for thinking of me in sending it, dear friend. Have a good day!

  • Linda Gardiner

    You are ambitious… a threefer! I have a sketch I did of an eagle while watching them on a live cam when they were tending their eggs. All three are great. How about Giraffe & Iguana?

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Linda, sketching an animal in motion would be too advanced for me right now. I’ll stick with mimicking my images from still photos and how-to steps. Giraffe and Iguana are two good ones for consideration. Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜‰

πŸ’•I love comments! Have a purrfect day & thanks for stopping by!πŸ’•