Gray Tabby Cat Pet Portrait Oil Demonstration

A little gray tabby cat makes a sweet oil painting at size 7x5".
"Magic" was with his owner for 16 years of cuddling. He loved the occasional can of tuna as a treat, but did not care for any other treats - imagine that!
My client had this portrait painted as a gift for her husband. To see how I painted him and the completed portrait, keep reading...

As you can see below, I've sketched him on the canvas first, adding placement of important details. The client requested a blue background, so I block in light blue where his fur is dark, graduating to darker blue where his fur is white.

Then I begin with the fur on the top of his head. A little of the background blue is used to round the head on top by fading and softening it:

I continue working my way down his face paying close attention to the size and shape of his markings:

Here I've progressed to his nose. I will leave the eyes to last:

Below is the painted nose and mouth.
When painting the soft white fur of his chest, the only true white strokes are on the left where the light hits. The fur on the right is shaded a blue-gray with touches of burnt sienna for contrast:

A cat must have whiskers! I use a small brush with a fine tip to paint them. Since the fur and background paint is still a bit wet, it blends with the whiskers in spots keeping them looking more natural:

Finally, I paint his yellow green eyes.
The light is coming from the left, so the iris will be lighter on the right where the light shines through the translucent eye. I'll add a pinpoint of white on the upper left pupil where the light hits the eye as you'll see in the final image:

Here is Magic completed:

Finished portrait of Magic.
'Magic' oil pet portrait of a gray tabby cat 7x5 inches

My client is very happy with the portrait. Here is what she wrote:
Janet, it's absolutely perfect!  My husband is going to flip for it!  Thank you so much!!!
I love when my work makes someone happy!

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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