How to paint a cat portrait: lesson 3

Today I added more detail to the fur and face. There is still more work to do, but its’ starting to look a lot like this beautiful cat. I added highlights with cadmium yellow, yellow ochre; and dark tones into the fur with burnt umber and ultramarine blue mixed, with spots of burnt sienna. I enlarged the ears, since they were larger than I first realized.

How to Paint a Cat Portrait: Lesson 2

The earlier post was from what I did yesterday. Today, I added some more details, worked on the face and eyes a bit more, and refined the face markings.

I also worked on the background, and the body a bit more, using cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, lemon yellow, alizarin crimson, raw umber, and ultramarine blue for the fur. This is still really rough, but is starting to look like the cat (and yes, I got rid of the blobs of brown paint on the lower body!).

Over the next few days, I will be working on the fur details, now that the body is blocked in. This means using a small brush, and going over the areas I have started. I will share how this turns out in a few days.

How to Paint a Cat Portrait : Lesson 1

I am currently painting a cat portrait for a friend of mine. In the next few blogs, I will share the process (she had given permission for me to do this).

I painted the canvas (11 X 15″) with burnt umber and raw umber mixed, then began picking out the lights and leaving the darks (above). This was to block in the main values.

Next, I worked on the background a bit. Since the cat has a lot of red in its fur, I decided to go with a green/blue mix (ultramarine blue, sap green, with some titanium white).

I also started adding some of the golden tones for the fur highlights (cadmium yellow), and mid-values (burnt sienna) on the body, and started work on the face with these same colors. The paint is still wet, so there is a lot of shine in this photo, but it shows the beginning stage of this portrait. Next, I will be working on more detail (in a future post).

Painting Christmas ornaments

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been painting Christmas ornaments (using enamel paints) for weeks now. The first set were wild birds (one is pictured above and another below) that I sold at a local art show, and also have for sale at a local store (Wild Birds Unlimited).

For those who would like to make their own: the paints I use are FolkArt enamel, which is permanent, reasonably priced, and works on glass and any other surface. I have been getting orders from people who have seen these; and also commissions to paint pet portraits (cats).

I love making these; it makes for a unique tree topper!

Lesson 2: color study

I have decided to put myself through a course of painting in the basics, as a refresher. In this part, I first did a value painting by:

1.(using burnt umber for the darks

-rubbing out my light areas;

– I then went over it all again to darken the darkest areas, and added a touch of white for the lightest areas.

I then painted the local color over it once the under-painting dried. I call it “pumpkin soup” because it is a small pumpkin, a box of bone broth, and garlic salt. I can’t wait until next week, when I get to paint a person (me)!

I did this on a canvas pad, the final is 16″X12″. The underpainting took two hours; the color study took 3 hours to complete.

Back to Basics: Value Study

I have been reading some books on painting, and have decided to put myself through a full course of lessons. On this blog, I will share what I am doing, and learning, because I want to improve (and this type of “back to the beginning” will hopefully have that effect).

The first lesson involves working with a very limited palette (black, white, yellow ochre), and focusing on capturing values in a still life, based on common objects around the house. I took a kitchen cooking pot, a bowl, a brown egg and a spoon. Below is the result: