Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cuddling Cats Pet Portrait Painting in Watercolor

It's always a delight to paint cats. I like cats and it's fun to try to replicate the softness of their fur.

I just finished a watercolor commission of two cats -  a white cat and his friend, a tabby. Read on and I'll show you how I painted these two kitties. (If you want to skip the demo, see the finished cat portrait here.)

The first thing I do is a small study. Above, you can see that I was having fun with wet-into-wet washes just getting the soft feel.

Below is the finished study. It is not very detailedl, but I can see what I want to keep and what to change.

Now it's time to begin the portrait. I do a careful drawing and transfer the drawing to watercolor paper. Then I paint the easiest parts which are the background and the foreground:

The next step is to paint in the shading. The light is coming from behind so the tops of their heads are brighter, their faces are in shadow. This first shading wash is a great opportunity to use color especially on the white cat:

After both cats have an initial wash of color, I begin to paint some of the details of the fur. I paint wet colors next to other wet colors. This creates a soft effect as the colors run together.

Ears and eyes come next. I like to leave eyes for last because I love the way the eyes suddenly bring the portrait to life. I have heard other artists say they don't like the animal staring at them while they paint, which is another good reason!

Below is the finished watercolor. Don't they look cuddly?

Watercolor pet portrait of two cats - 9x12 inches
Do you have precious pets you'd like painted? Check out the details here, or contact me.

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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