A look behind the scenes at

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As you may have noticed, we like to create artwork in general and for our website.

For examples, you can check out our 2019 calendar, which can be viewed and/or downloaded from our home page and our Alamy profile of computer illustrations.

So we thought we’d share a little behind the scenes of our latest creation. This is just for fun really. It’s definitely not a step-by-step or how-to. Just a look at making art when a lot of it involves learning as we go.

To start with, here’s the finished illustration. Well, mostly finished. We will probably go back and find something we don’t like that we want to change or retouch it here and there a bit. But this is the version that finally made us relatively happy after hours of work.

Black cat in rain with red umbrella illustration

We initially got the idea for this illustration because we love those paintings we see that have a person or people in the rain with brightly colored umbrellas.

So we thought we would try our hand at our own version, only with one of our Wow my pet did THAT?! illustrated kitties.

As we do for most of our graphics, we used Adobe Illustrator. This is how it all started. (Originally, there was going to be a building or buildings on the left side.)

umbrella created in Adobe Illustrator

As you can see in this next screenshot, our cat was starting to take shape, but the poor guy wasn’t looking quite right.

Next, things started coming together better.

But, the buildings were out and a park sidewalk became the new setting because it was too hard to fit the cat on a sidewalk outside the buildings without making him to small to be the focus of the illustration.

Then, there was a lot of experimentation with what color to make the background, including the path, and what kinds of brush or other tools in Illustrator to use to make shadow, rain and puddle effects. As you can see, our original attempt at shadows didn’t work so well.

We were actually pretty happy with this next version, but it just didn’t seem stormy enough to make the umbrella and cat the highlight.

Ultimately we used a number of opaque gradients of different percentages and sizes for clouds. We used light yellow brush strokes for the rain. And, well, a bunch of other technical things you can ask us about if you’re interested by posting in the comments.

And so, we’re back to here — our “completed” version. For now…

Black cat in rain with red umbrella illustration

Update: And, then we let it sit awhile and worked on some other stuff. That seems to help sometimes. After a few more hours of work, this is the version we finally decided we liked best.

Cat in rain final


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