Step by step – colourful cat

Had a happy afternoon painting cats. And I would like to know, why one day you can paint with fresh colours and a spirit of excitement and on another day, using the same colours, everything looks solid with not an ounce of life in it. Yesterday was a dead loss, today a happy one – no idea why.

cat1

Colours: Quin sienna, Shinhan greenish yellow, Diox purple, quin magenta, french ultramarine

So first, I started with a sketch and then the eye and nose. People think painting loosely means quickly and without care. Not so. You need to plan a bit, work out what needs close attention and where you can let the water do its magic. Cats have eyes like marbles and you need to capture that transparency and shine. I decided that whiskers are going on at the end, so that was one less thing to worry about.

cat2

Next I worked on the dark round the eye, then started on the stripes. All cats have lovely stripes just like tigers, so I wanted to emphasise those. I also knew I wanted some dribbles to give height to the painting. Again, dribbles need to be where you want them – they might look spontaneous but they still need thought.

cat3

Then it’s time to put in light washes in the background, just in a few places where I need to define edges a bit.

cat4

So let everything dry (I took my son to kick-boxing) and then rub out pencil marks and check if anything needs adjusting. Final thing is the whiskers and eyebrows – think about colours – yes I know whiskers are white, but wouldn’t orange, green or pink look nicer?

cat5

Leave overnight, so you can look with fresh eyes and see if  anything shouts out at you and then you’re done. So, if I am happy tomorrow morning, I’ll take a pic in daylight and post it here…..

Advertisements

About lizintheshed

Watercolour artist and copywriter, living and working in the Thames Valley.
This entry was posted in animal portraits, Art, how to, step by step, Techniques, Watercolour and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s