Sunday, 17 January 2016

Lesson No.7 - How to Paint Cat Fur

I painted over the entire cat with a turpsy wash.  Use a medium sized bristle brush for that scratchy texture.  In this initial wash, you decide on the direction of hair growth and what colours you would like to use.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Finishing the Cats' Ears

Now that we have our base colours down, it's time to get out our fine brush and Liquin and go all over the ears with some hair.

For the dark cat, I used Ultramarine Blue with a dot of Cadmium Red and some white, to go around the ears.  This colour softens the edges into the background before flicking black straight from the tube through.

For the white cat, I used the same colours, only more pink-purple, then flicked pure white through.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lesson No.5 - Painting the Cat's Ears

I always make the mistake of not painting the ear holes dark enough.  As the ear emerges from behind the head, gradually make them lighter to give that slightly translucent look in the middle. 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Awards for 2 of my Animal Paintings

I was really excited to receive these 2 awards from the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery competition for Animals. 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Lesson No.4 - Painting the Cats' Pink Little Noses

I'm using Cadmium Red and Ultramarine Blue for their noses, mouths and around the white cat's eyes.  Darks first, then highlights.  Keep the brushstrokes nice and smooth as opposed to their hair which will be rough and textured. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Lesson No.3 - The Eyes Have It!

The eyes of an animal portrait are usually the most important part of the painting - that's why I paint them first.  I had fun with these eyes, using whatever colours I wanted.  Cats have such beautifully varied eyes - some are pastel, whilst some can be incredibly intense.

Paint in the colour first with the highlight, then use the darker hue to go under the lid and around the pupil.  I firstly do the pupil in my dark shadow colour - Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red - then go over the darkest darks in black when I am happy with the result (otherwise black can muddy up your colours if you introduce it too early). 

Dots of highlights are added gently (usually reflecting the background colours) then just pure white on top of these.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How to Paint a Quick and Easy Background in Oils - Lesson No.2

There isn't a lot of background in this painting, so we need to keep it simple and soft so that all our attention will be on the cats.

I decided on a blue/aqua theme, but it could be any colour as one cat is grey and the other white.  On my palette I mixed a very dark blue-green, a mid blue, a very light blue and a very light lemon.  I used Prussian Blue and Lemon which I thought was rather pretty.  I dabbed in the darks first, then mid-tones, light blues and lastly filled in all the gaps with the lemon mix.  Then it's just a matter of feathering it all off gently so that it is very soft and out-of-focus. 

A bit more feathering off with a soft, dry brush and I'm done.