Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bandit Portrait

I love animals and am trying to expand my repertoire. Cats are independent and have an air of mystery so they seemed like a good choice. Bandit is a beautiful black and white tuxedo cat. The contrast of black and white fur made him an interesting subject to paint. After sketching my Afghan Hounds, drawing a cat was a bit out of my comfort zone. It took several attempts to get the cat to a point where I was happy with him and ready to progress to painting.

Directions for Reclining Cat Portrait:

Daler Rowney Canvas Paper
Liquidtex black, white, grey, silver, raw umber and bronze yellow acrylic paint
White 65 lb. card stock
Cray Pas Expressionist oil pastels: pink, green and gold
Drawing board
Royal Soft-Grip brushes: 3/4 inch, #4 flat, #4 round, #0

This painting is based on a photograph that I took of Bandit. I liked the reclining pose but found it hard to sketch.

1. Scan the picture into the computer, enlarge it to a 5 x 7 inch size and print it on white 65 lb. card stock.

2. Since I don't have a light box I taped the card stock print to a sunny window. Tape a piece of canvas paper over the card stock and trace the outline of the cat with a 2H pencil. Remove the canvas paper and card stock from the window. Place the canvas paper on a drawing board and begin to fill in the details of the cat (his eyes, nose, and the lines for his coloration).

3. Using a #4 round brush and white paint fill in the white areas of the cat. Let it dry.

4. Fill in the black areas of the cat with black paint and a #4 round brush. Let it dry.

5. Mix bronze yellow and raw umber until the color resembles a light golden wood. Fill in the floor area with this color. Add raw umber lines on the floor (to resemble a hard wood floor) before the golden wood floor dries.

6. After the floor dries add highlights with grey paint. Using the 3/4 inch brush paint the wall with a light coat of grey paint.

7. Color the cat's eyes with green oil pastel and blend with a paper stump. Add a layer of gold oil pastel to the eyes and blend with the paper stump. Repeat with the green pastel and blend. Add black acrylic paint to the center of the cat's eyes.

8. Fill in the cat's nose with pink oil pastel and blend with the paper stump. Clean the stump by rubbing it across a piece of sand paper before using it to blend the pink nose.

9. Mix a small amount of grey paint into white paint to make a light grey color. Apply the light grey to the white areas of the cat (shading).

10. Using a #4 round brush and white paint, paint the fur using short strokes. Pull some of the strokes outward toward the black and long strokes for whiskers (above the eyes and on the face). Paint short strokes with the black paint on the black areas. Use black to paint in the marks for the claws on feet.

11. Paint the wall with short swirled strokes using a #4 flat brush and silver paint. Allow some of the grey base coat to show through.

12. Mix the grey paint with a little bit of black and paint a shadow on the floor to the left of the cat.