When working with ink or watercolor, you don't always know what will happen. Serbian artist Endre Penovác, however, has learned to embrace the effortless twists and turns of these water-based mediums in his series of cat illustrations. Beginning with a blot of black pigment, Penovác manipulates the flow until it mimics the sinuous shape of a feline.
Each of these striking minimalist depictions highlights the understated beauty of black ink, particularly how it interacts with water, the brush, and paper. One long brushstroke becomes a sinuate tail, for instance, and a daub of black ink that bleeds into lighter gray hues is easily transformed into the body of a cat. Even the feathering of the paint—which Penovác delicately accentuates with his tools—is harnessed by the artist to enhance the texture of the fur.
Rooted in simplicity, Penovác's art thrives with its limited color palette. Despite only using black, blue, and (occasionally) yellow ink, he is able to convey different kinds of cats by utilizing form and negative space. In one example, the pattern of a black-and-white feline is partially determined by the absence of black ink in areas of the cat's figure. Even without a line to guide us, we follow the shape of the other key areas of paint to complete the image of the animal subject.