I’ve created a plethora of cats over the last couple of weeks, I have always had a tendency to shy away from these furry cutenesses, but I decided to meet the fluffy problem head on…
It may be my horrible allergy to these constantly hair shedding, superior beings that have made them less than popular in my household, but their wide-eyed beauty and strong characters have begun to win me over…
I have painted cats before, just not many of them. The above piece is from my 100 day personal challenge, I feel I am now packing in more colour and can create better form to the subject. The obsession with light has gone way back in my painting production, back to 1994 to be exact!
BRING ON THE NEW CATS….
My first willing victim was Raul Salvador Morales, a little black cat with a rather big name. I donated his portrait to his delighted owner, Megan. I used my new set of Derwent Coloursoft pencils, really as a try-out to see what they could do…
The Junior Artist watched me intently and then created her own piece which she wanted to send in the post to Raul as a love card from my mothers black cat, Sukiyashi Samurai Warrior (to give her her nickname…)
I really enjoyed building up the layers of hair to give him that healthy gleam. My next ‘victim’ was a photograph from the internet from a group of images specifically put together to be copyright free for use by artists. After the tight detail of Raul, I felt the need to be more gestural and work fast and loose…..
Here I used the Atelier Interactive acrylics on a canvas panel, looking for heightened colour and brave brushstrokes. Orange and purple are complementaries, so using them together will often give the colour more ‘pop’. Most of my shades are created from a brilliant blue/bright orange colourmix, one I use often for creating my white horses shadows…..
At this point the ‘colour door’ was open and off I went! I found my reference photograph again on an internet copyright free site, intending to paint very quickly and heighten the colours, this little 30cm sq canvas panel barely took an hour to create, in fact what took most time was taking the step by step photographs every 10 minutes (shown below). Often people are often interested in my technique and procedure when creating a portrait, so here you are;
I then started sketching, trying white pencil on black paper, something which I made my poor life drawing students perform last week. I soon found that my standard white pencil offered a mid highlight and the softer white Derwent Coloursoft white was the one I needed to give me the brightness needed to create a good contrast.
Oh boy, was he fun to draw, quick sweeps of the pencil and big negative space gaps meant that the sketch was completed very rapidly…. Now obsessed by cats, I carried on sketching;
I gifted this next sketch to my big brother, his cat Venus (or rebus) had a lovely profile, and since I was staying at his house that weekend, I thought an artwork donation would be an appropriate way to say thank you for his hospitality…..
My next drawing was a simple pencil study, again from the obliging Venus who sat and glowered at me as I created… Again, I can see my obsession with backlighting surfacing again.
The final piece in my cat fetish spree is again following my interest in backlighting;
I’m now looking forward to returning to my favourite muse; the horse, and have a few glorious sunset and reflection pieces planned in my head… They may or may not happen, watch this space!
Thank you for joining me again, Jane x
I’ve just completed day 2 of my 5 days of opening my painting studio up to members of the public…. This year I am the only studio based in Barnsley, all of the other 62 studios participating are in the Sheffield area. Check out the catalogue online for a colour image of each artists work, there are 150 artists! Just click on the web link below:
It is now my 4th year of this event, my visitors have been trickling in to my secluded countryside base, quality not quantity I say! I can happily report that 3 originals have now found new homes. I have over 60 paintings on display and have converted my studio and dining room into gallery spaces complete with white voile drapes and matching labels (really pushing the boat out here!)
Over the course of the last few days I have completed some new works shown below…
It has been lovely to open my private space to visitors and to talk about the inspiration and techniques I use, my last year’s artistic journey and also my plans for the future.
I’m a stones throw from The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and welcome you to pop into my secluded countryside base and have a cuppa and scone….. it would be great to meet you!