The Commission

Dear friends recently lost two of their beloved kitties to old age and illness. She does framing for a living (and while I normally can’t afford to hire her), she offered to frame a portrait of my dad in exchange for doing a painting of her cats. One photo, I thought was pretty good. The other was very fuzzy and from a distance, did not have great lighting and, frankly did not make the cat look very good. In any case, I did the best I could. Ironically, when all was said and done, I think I actually like the first painting the best. It is far more painterly and creative than the second cat (which obviously came to me with a clearer photo).

So, here is what I started with:

I failed to take progress shots of the first painting… sorry. But I did take a few of the second one:


I almost stopped right here. I really like it just like this. This is the first layer before I applied an alcohol wash. I’m working on Black UArt 400. It is still a bit rougher than I would like, but I love the dark surface. I’m going to order some 500 and 600 in the black and see what else I can do with it. (UArt paper, by the way is graded. The higher the # the finer the grit).


Alcohol wash on.


Beginning to define the key features… and I realize my drawing is off. The eye is in the wrong place! Out came my handy-dandy sponge brush and then the eye was gone:


I moved the eye down and to the right, just a bit. And in the picture below you can see where I brought in painting of Kitty 1 so I could start capturing some of the same colors in case the client (in this case, my friends) decide to hang them near each other.


Then finished:


My husband (and perhaps some of you) might say there is no green or pink in cat hair, but I see it. I’m just weird that way, I guess.


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