I made sure to draw in the whiskers because I'll paint around them leaving them a white or pale color.
In this image, I'm painting in the fur tufts in the ears.
Eyes of animals and humans are painted as if they are grapes or translucent marbles rather than opaque objects. The light will shine through the eyes. This means that not only is there a highlight where the light hits the pupil, but there is a corresponding light area in the iris opposite the highlight. This light area is where the eye color is apparent.
In this case, the eyes are a beautiful green.
Next is the part of the painting that takes the longest. Here the fur is painted in detail paying close attention to the specific markings of this cat.
This is because the reference photos I was working from were flash photos. A flash on a camera will light the subject from the front which makes for a rather flat appearance.
Much better would be light coming from one side or the other. This would give the subject a more rounded appearance and added interest.
Since I am a painter, I can paint in shadows to improve the appearance of the portrait. In this case, I've decided to have the light coming from the right, so the cast shadows will be on the left as you'll see in the finished piece below.
Here is Mushy, the orange tabby. I hope you enjoyed the demonstration. You can see more samples of my cat and dog portraits at ZehPetPortraits.com. Thanks for stopping by.