Monday, August 29, 2011

A Tiger's Intense Gaze

My latest piece. I feel quite accomplished with this one!
Medium: Scratchboard
Size: 8x10
September 1st I'll be having a solo show at the West Caldwell Public Library! I had to book this show a year in advance so I'm very excited it is finally here. If you live in the Northern NJ area go take a look!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Press Release

Before I get to the main topic of this blog post below is the finished portrait of Spirit. Considering my novice skills when it comes to backgrounds I am happy with the end result. I went for a more out of focus effect that afterwards I realize was a really good choice. Adding too much more detail like leaves and trees would take away from the cat. A little touch of leaf detail pulled it together.
Medium: Pastel
Size: 8x10

In other news I will be having my second solo show! I scheduled almost a year ago to display my work at our local library...and now the time has come! I had to write a press release to send to the editor of our town newspaper. Writing about myself is always a's my attempt at making myself look good ;)
Jessica Kale is an emerging artist who has lived in West Caldwell for 10 years. She has an associate's degree in fine arts and is currently working towards her bachelor's in illustration at New Jersey City University. Jessica's passion for animals inspires all of her artwork. To create realistic and soul captivating animals Jessica specializes in a unique medium called scratchboard. A white clay tablet that is coated in black ink and etching tools that are used to create fur and eyes. Jessica recently won Honorable Mention in mixed media for her scratchboard work at the Twelfth Annual Gaelen juried art show. Her pastels have also gained attention by being accepted into the prestigious Pastel Society of America. Jessica creates artwork through the essence of animals and is honored to be showing at the West Caldwell library.  
Now if I could just get those motivation juices flowing and create at least 1 more new piece to hang before Sept. 1st!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Quarter Project

In honor of the Feline Conservation Federations recent convention I donated a pet portrait. The winner contacted me and I have started an 8x10 pastel of a beautiful Geoffroy's Cat named Spirit. Considering the whole body needs to be included in the portrait I have to work pretty small. Thank goodness for pastel pencils! To do a fun comparison here is the finished head next to a real quarter to show the size.
The head took me two and a half hours. I'm starting to wonder if mini heads take longer then my large 11x14 heads. What I really need to do is put a stop watch on while I'm working. Hopefully more to come tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Pieces

I'm proud to announce that I have conquered a challenge for myself. I am trying to go bigger because alot of art shows require larger work...haven't exactly figured out why but anyway...I decided to challenge myself by doing an 11x14 scratchboard. I'm very pleased with the results and it gives me confidence that I may be able to go even bigger one day!
Size: 11x14
Medium: Scratchboard
Amazing Reference: Matt (

I'll be making prints available to those that are interested. Contact me or check out my Artfire store within the next few days.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I've been a bad blogger...I haven't posted in awhile. So, here we go! I finished a pastel drawing of 3 fox kits. It took me a long time and not just because it was a 12x19''...I don't have as much expertise in backgrounds as I'd like [been practicing!]. The background for this painting took awhile to make it look believable. Especially the tree trunk. In the end I'm pleased with the results.
Medium: soft pastels & pastel pencils
Size: 12x19
Next... finished a commission from a repeat customer. I love repeat customers because it means they really liked their pet portraits. Also, they get a good deal for being a repeat.
Medium: Scratchboard and Ink wash
Size: 8x10
Our county has a magazine of all the happenings in my area. I sometimes read the magazine to see if there is anything I would go to. I happened to open up this months and I was so excited that I did!
Well, that is all the news for the moment. Have a happy 4th of July! I promise to update the blog more!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I've been published!

The amazing Feline Conservation Federation put in an article about me and my artwork!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Societies and Shows

I am beyond please to announce I was accepted into the Pastel Society of America as an Associate Member! Getting into this society is amazing to me because any art society [animal, watercolor, illustration,etc.] of america is the top society for an artist practicing in that medium to be accepted into. It feels so great and a reassuring that all of the practice I have done and how hard I work is paying off!

Another huge deal for my career as an artist; I was accepted into a prestigious NJ art show called the Twelfth Annual Gaelen Juried Art Show. A few months back I entered 2 scratchboards and a charcoal for first jury. My 2 scratchboards were accepted into the show! Which was a major accomplishment in itself. The show opening was May21. All the work was amazing. There were category awards [1st place and honorable mention] for each category [photo,pastel,sculpture,mixed media]. 

I won Honorable Mentioned in the mixed media category for "Morning Light"!

Last was an awesome week!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Serval Twins & Pet Products

I finished the Serval scratchboard. I'm happy with the results and can't wait to see it featured in the FCF journal! Prints are available and a portion of the proceeds will go to the FCF. You can purchase via my artfire store or directly from the FCF store.
Title: The Serval Twins
Medium: Scratchboard with watercolor wash
Size: 8x10

Other then art I occasionally like to share books, clothing, etc. that I love that are based on animals. One of my favorite websites to purchase animal related products is Bradford Exchange. I have purchased this adorable wallet with German Shepherd because GSDs look very similar to my Ellie. I'm continuously getting comments whenever I take out my wallet. It's great quality! I've had it a year and it still is in great condition.

I also have this beautiful necklace. It was a birthday gift. Beautifully crafted. Now Bradford Exchange has come out with these adorable tote bags! I'll have to save up! Yes, their products aren't cheap but the quality and clever items are worth it. Certainly a place I love to splurge when I can!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Quick Update

With the holidays these past few days I haven't had time to update on things. I did more work on the Serval cubs. I started adding some color that I'm not happy with yet. I'll be experimenting on color with this one. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This year I feel my artwork is starting to get recognized...I only wish I had practiced as hard on my artwork in my younger years as I do now. I'd usually stick to drawing in my school art classes and private classes. I wouldn't really practice at home on my own. Now I practice at least 3 times a week, either working on artwork for my private collection, working on commissions, or working on show pieces.

Going back to show pieces...I've received numerous recognition in online juried shows. From "Peaceful Slumber" winning Best in Show at Little Strokes Gallery and being accepted in to the Twelfth Annual Gaelen Juried Art Show and Sale. I have received Special Recognition in the Light Space and Time online juried Animal show. And one of the best is having my wildlife artwork for sale at the Federation for Conservation Online Store. All of this has been a strong "pat on the back". I must be doing something right!

I'm excited for the next few months, which, will involve...submitting for more online juried shows, participating in three animal adoption events with a vendor booth, maybe trying out for the Society of Animal Artists again...that's a big "if" as I only have a few new pieces of work I would consider and the due date is the end of April. I may wait for the September submission.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things but I will keep my blog updated for those that read it ;) If you have read my rambles this far you can be rewarded with a new WIP for the Serval Twins.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Exciting News

I am very excited to announce that I have officially partnered up with the Feline Federation Conservation! My domestic and wildcat artwork and prints will now be for sale through the FCF store where they will receive 20% of the proceeds! The work the FCF does is amazing and I am so happy to help their cause. 

In my on going effort to help wildcat awareness and conservation I am working on more wildcat artwork. I have started a scratchboard of two Serval Cubs. Beautiful wildcats that I didn't know much about until I saw the FCF website.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Two Finished Cats

I have spent many hours on Thursday and today finishing these two pieces. I'm pleased with the results.
"Cat Gaze"
Medium: Scratchboard with a watercolor wash
Size: 5x7

"Tiger Cub"
Medium: Pastel Pencils & NuPastels
Size: 12x18

Saturday, March 12, 2011

News & WIP: Cat

I'm excited to announce that two of my scratchboards ["Peaceful Slumber" & "Morning Light"] have been accepted into the The Twelfth Annual Gaelen Juried Art Show and Sale in Whippany, NJ! I will add further news when the show starts [May 22nd].

Meanwhile, I started a new wip. I really want to work on my scratchboard techniques so I started a scratchboard of a cat. I even ordered a new fiber glass brush that is super small for close details and love it! It's great when it comes to adding a soft, wispy fur texture.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Special Recognition in Animal Art Exhibit

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is pleased to announce that Jessica Kale won Special Recognition for her piece “Peaceful Slumber” in our Animal Art Exhibition. There were more than 419 entries that were considered and judged for this international competition. Jessica’s entry is now posted and online on our website.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pick Me!

I have named this piece "Pick Me" due to the eager face on this adorable puppy.
Medium: Charcoal & Pastel on sanded pastel paper
Size: 9x12

Free Shipping on "Peaceful Slumber"

In honor of my piece "Peaceful Slumber" winning Best in Show at Little Stroke's Art Galleries: Animal Drawing Exhibition...I am offering my 8x10 prints of "Peaceful Slumber" with FREE SHIPPING! On checkout add the coupon "free shipping". Limited time offer!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Charcoal Pup: WIP

I started this a few days ago and haven't had the chance to share it on my blog till now. I immediately feel in love with this photograph and knew it would transfer beautifully into a piece of art. A big thanks to John De Bord Photography for giving me permission to use his photo! I started off by using primarily black and white charcoal pencils with some hints of NuPastels for the really black/white spots.

I'm not sure what I want for the background yet. I'm taking some time to think about it. Meanwhile, I have always wanted to try velour. Many of the pastel artists I admire use this particular type of velour paper that is only available in the UK. I found a website that sold it. It should come by the end of this week. I can't wait to try it out! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The wolf isn't floating in the air now. I added a base paint for the rock and slowly added in some color.

I worked on a commission in between waiting for the paint to dry on the wolf. Right now it looks like a cat in a void of green. Sometimes works in progress can look really weird. The green I am placing down is the base coat for the grass that the cat is "hiding" in. Not the best image since it's an 11x14 that won't fit in the scanner.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Big Teeth You Have!

I put the perspective wolf to the side for a day. I'm waiting to get some crits from fellow artists. In the meantime I wanted to do a quick charcoal drawing. I wasn't angry at the time of drawing but the wolf sure was :) I may go back to this and a background at some point
Photo Permission: Tambako [Thank you so much!]
Medium: Black/White Charcoal on grey sanded pastel paper
Size: 11x12

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Different Perspective

February is turning out to be a slow commission month. The only good thing about this is I get free time to sharpen my skills and experiment. I've been wanting to work more on scratchboard. I was given permission awhile back to use a photo and finally have the time to capture it in a work of art. 

It's a little hard to see just yet but this wolf is on a rock and the photo was taken from below. I love this perspective! 
WIP 2:

I have finished the first round of scratching. Now I will go back in with ink and give it more shadows. I plan to tackle the rock with acrylics. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chance: Complete

Chance the cat is finished. This striking cat turned out to be a challenge but in the end it was well worth it. I experimented more with NuPastels as the base coat and used my pastel pencils for finer detail. I'll be using the NuPastels a lot more now.
Medium: Pastel on sanded pastel paper
Size: 8x10

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taking a break

I took a break from working on Chance. Actually I'm waiting to hear from the client. In the meantime I haven't had a chance to work on scratchboard with all of the pastel commissions. So, I started to fiddle with one tonight. I started with my favorite wild cat, the Ocelot.

Monday, January 31, 2011

And More Chance

I think I fixed the eye. Pastels can be such a forgiving medium when used correctly and on the right paper. Being a sanded pastel paper the tooth is able to take on multiple layers of color. This makes it easier to just go over the incorrect eye and sketch in the new one. I'll still be tinkering with that eye when the piece is almost finished. I also blocked in color for the rest of the fur and the paw. I'm playing around with different shades of green for the bed he is lying on.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Chance

A further attempt at Chance. For some reason the left eyeball is driving me nuts. I'll be going back to it. Worked on getting the fluffyness of the fur and added in some of the background to get it to pop more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to "Chance"

With the rush order and some of life getting in the way I had set Chance's portrait to the side. There were some issues with the fur color and things just weren't working right. So, I did another sketch and started over. This time around I put down my base colors first and then went into more detail. I'm pleased with how this redo is going...but it all depends on the client!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ollie the Rush Order

In the midst of working on other commissions I acquired a rush order! A repeat customer, which is even better! The client that requested Diamond's portrait wanted a portrait to give to her husband for his birthday. It took about 6 hours and I finished on time! I'll leave it over night as is and then wait for tomorrow to matt it incase I want to change anything or do last minute tweaks.

I did learn from this portrait that I should work with gloves or something when I blend in pastels with my fingers because the sand paper as given one of my fingers a "sand burn". Ow.
Medium: Pastels on sanded pastel paper
Size: 11x14

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chance the Cat WIP2

More work on Chance was done today. I have a rush order that was put in yesterday to be ready this Saturday. For once I'm glad we are going to have a snow/ice storm tomorrow...that'll keep me inside working! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I'll write more about my 2011 plans and things later. I need to get done with 2 commissions before I make any plans. A past client commissioned a pastel pet portrait of her "tough" looking cat, Chance! Here are the very beginnings. It almost looks like he has some kind of phantom mask on. Well, more soon I hope!