Back again, Back again, Happy New Year!

“Fluffy Tuxedo Kitty” 6×6″ oil on cradled panel.

After a regrettably long hiatus, I am back with a new cat head painting! And for the New Year!

Circumstances in life prevented me from getting into my studio to paint for the past several months. I tried to compensate for that by doing some drawings at home. (More on that later.) But now I am back, and am working on some new paintings! This little cat head is the first to be completed. I especially was trying to capture the fluffiness of this kitty with soft brush strokes and lost edges. Also, warm and cool temperatures were used to show depth (I hope).

With this painting I also attempted to go looser! It was fun!

Words cannot express how much I missed painting, and how WONDERFUL it felt to be back to it!

But, I did do some fun pencil work, and below is my latest piece. It probably needs some more tweaking. It’s simple graphite pencil (0.05mm mechanical pencil, HB lead) on smooth paper.

“Untitled” (so far), pencil on paper, approximately 6×7″. Probably still needs some tweaks.

I’m a BIIIIIG fan of crosshatching.

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Natalie

“Natalie,” 12×12″ oil on cradled panel

Natalie is an artist friend. She and her husband (another artist, coincidentally!) agreed to model for me. I’ve taken a series of photos and plan to use them as the basis for some paintings.

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Big Ears (Cat Head)

“Big Ears,” 5×5″ oil on Gessobord

This lovely kitty was painted in one sitting, which is a little unusual for me. Or perhaps this is my “new normal”? I had a 5×5″ piece of Gessobord and it needed to be used.

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Windswept

“Windswept,” 8×8″ oil on linen panel. Thanks to BirdsistersStock on dA for the stock photo used as reference!

I liked the expression on this model, and the colors in the skin, so thought it would be an interesting study!

The color scheme in this painting seemed to be predominately green, and peach. I like this color combo and had a lot of fun mixing the colors. 

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Plethora of Cat Heads, other news

I’ve been remiss in updating this blog, so let me get right to it. I’ve got some news and some art to post. First off, more cat heads:

“Dilute Calico” 4×4″ oil on panel.

“Long Whiskers,” 5×7″ oil on canvas panel.

“Earnest Orange,” 8×8″ oil on canvas panel.

“I am Siamese if You Please,” 6×6″ oil on panel.

As has been already firmly established, I love painting the cat heads. These particular cat heads were a joy! Lots of fun, very diverse cat “looks.” And I feel I’m just getting started! I’ve got a whole lot more cat head paintings in me! 🙂

On to other news, I am a “featured artist” on Daily Paintworks this month, because the unthinkable happened—I got an award! Me! Who would have guessed?

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TUTORIAL: Figure drawing, book recommendations, proportions

A break from my usual paintings of portraits and cat heads! There is a “tutorials” category in this blog, and today I am using it!

I have a painting student who is interested in working more with life drawing and figure drawing. I told her that I’d make a blog post with some book recommendations and other basic tips. This is that blog post! (Book recommendations are at the bottom of this page.)

A topic we’ve been discussing is that all-too-common bugaboo for many artists—getting basic figure proportions correct. Working from life or working from photos, it can get tricky.

It’s a common error for artists to make the head too big for the figure. I remember doing this when I took my first life drawing class. All my figures looked like horrible trolls with HUGE heads! It took a while to finally overcome this bad habit.

This is often happens because we emotionally “see” the head as the most important and unconsciously make it bigger. (We do the same when drawing faces, too. The features will be too big for the rest of the head, and new artists often make the forehead too short and the back of the head too shallow, because we focus so much on the features–eyes, nose, mouth—that the rest of the head is subconsciously viewed as “less important” and drawn smaller.)

To combat this common problem, and to aid all artists in getting the proportions correct, many art teachers have been teaching the “heads high” proportion standard.

From Loomis’s popular book, “Figure Drawing for all It’s Worth.” Click on image to see larger view.

The conventional wisdom is that most people are “7-1/2 heads” high.

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