Monday, September 02, 2013

Painting 2 of 30...

Mz Nora "B", 5x5", oil on panel, private commission
Today I actually sat down in my studio and completed a commission as part of this challenge.  In January I started doing 5x5 or 8x8 pet portraits and have continued this. It's fun to get close up & personal with someone's pet.  This kitty is a very special resident of my friend Polly's house and I am happy to "represent her". She has the most amazing green-gold eyes!

Here's a glimpse of my process:

Step one: use a grid to establish the likeness on the panel.  I use an app that allows me to grid my images and it really helps get me going.  Creating with a grid helps get me going quickly.  Once the paint goes down the image disappears...

Step 1: the grid
As you can see my drawing is very basic.  No need to freak out about the likeness yet...

Step two: establish the transparent underpainting...

I use a panel holder to secure the small 5x5 gessoboard. Since Nora is a grey cat I was able to play around with several years worth of Gamblin Torrit Greys as I worked opaque colors over the transparent under painting.

More opaque colors going down.  Just for fun, I will share my source photo now...

Nora of the glowing eyes...
I went over to meet Nora to get a better understanding of her eye color before painting the image. I also took alternate photo reference shots.

In the final image I made the background dark and rich to offset the cool grey of her coat.  I think I captured her "cattitude"

I am grateful for the many blessings of my life as it is today. 

Start where you are
Love what you have
Do what you can


  1. Beautiful and charming portrait of dear Nora. Thanks for sharing your set up and process,'s always so fun to see how an artist works. Blessings!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. Blessings back atcha!


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. I appreciate your interest!