Big Green Eyes and Intense – Cat Heads

“Big Green Eyes – Cat Head” 6×8″ oil on linen panel. Thanks to hiddenyume-stock for the photo I used as reference!

“Intense Kitty Head” 6×6″ oil on panel. Thanks to FurLined for the stock photo used as reference!

I’m doubling up on the cat heads for this post. Lots of cat head painting going on. I’ve been enjoying it very much!

While it might not be evident by looking at the paintings, I was trying a looser hand with both of these pieces. I often used a bigger brush through most of the painting process. One of my teachers, Adam Clague, imparts the wisdom to use a paintbrush that “seems too large,” because that’s just the right size. I think he’s on to something! šŸ˜‰

Though I did get into the details a lot too (which I don’t think is necessarily bad) I think that “less is more” and I don’t want to paint every little molecule of detail. Some artists do that exceedingly well and beautifully, but it just isn’t the direction I’m heading in.

I also enjoyed capturing the various colors observed in these kitty heads. Who knew that a simple white ruff on a cat’s chest could contain so much color? It truly is amazing. I do so love painting these kitties!

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Ivory Skin and Black Lace

“Ivory Skin & Black Lace” 12×12″ oil on panel. Thanks to La Esmeralda Stock on dA for the reference photo I used as inspiration!

My latest effort. This was done on the “Artist” panel by Ampersand. A good panel, classified as “budget,” but also still archival. I have a lot of these panels. It has a dovetail slot in the back, so it can be hung as-is on the wall, or slapped in a frame. I love the dovetail slot feature, which is why I’ve stockpiled a lot of these boards. They are about 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick (I think 3/8″) and the sides of the panel are painted a complementary color, so if they are hung unframed, the edges of the board look finished (somewhat reminiscent of “gallery wrap” canvases, which canĀ also be left unframed).

I enjoyed this painting and think the model is very striking. She’s great fun to paint. So dramatic! Her skin is so pale and light, I confess I had trouble capturing that adequately with my color mixing. I think I made her a bit more “pink” than she was in the reference photo, but hopefully she’s not too ruddy or flushed. (All monitors are calibrated differently, but on my computer display, she doesn’t look too red-skinned.)

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Splotched Kitty Head, plus a Work in Progress

“Splotchy Kitty Head” 5×5″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to Nikkayla on DeviantArt for the stock photo I used as reference!

Another month, and some new works! Yes, there has been a lapse of paintings for this blog. It was a busy few weeks. But I’ve still been hard at work,Ā painting!

This cat head painting was a particular challenge, because of all the . . . splotches. Our family calls calico/tortoiseshell kitties “splotched” kitties, because of all the multitude of colors. Well, actually my dad called these type of cats “multi-color.” We can’t just call them “calicos,” now can we? šŸ˜‰

The challenge in this painting was representing the splotches on the surface of the cat, while still representing the form and dimension. I hope I succeeded in that. It certainly did make me think, as I painted!

In addition, here’sĀ a work in progress painting. Hopefully it’ll be done in a day or two. Not much to say yet about this one, other than I’ve enjoyed the drama drama drama of the pose!

WORK IN PROGRESS. “Ivory Skin 2″ (temporary title), 12×12” oil on panel. Thanks to La Esmaralda Stock of DeviantArt for the reference photo used as inspiration.

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Lady with Hat, oil panel

“Lady with Hat,” 6×8″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to swiftsugar of DeviantArt for the stock photo I used as inspiration!

I loved the expression and pose of this one. The original photo that I used as reference had an exaggerated “golden” tint to it, which I didn’t want to paint. So I ran the photo through my iPad photo editing app (not iPhoto) and chose an option that took away a lot of the yellow. Then I used the adjusted photo as my reference. It was an interesting little iPad tweak!

There were a lot of golds, greens, and muted oranges in this one. A different color scheme, but a lot of fun to paint! She has a very vintage look to her, her expression and the way her head is tilted.

I enjoyed painting this one, and now it’s time for the next!

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Jason in Shadow, oil on Gessobord

“Jason in Shadow” 5×7″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to Jason Aaron Baca (model) and Portia Shao (photographer) for the stock photo I used as reference.

I classify this as oils, but to be more specific, IĀ used fast-drying oils (alkyds) on this painting. They are one particular flavorĀ of oils and have been around for a while. (Read more rambling from me about them on this post.)

I’m a big fan of Jason Aaron Baca’s stock photos on DeviantArt. So much drama! Dramatic poses, dramatic lighting, what’s not to love? So here’s another little oil sketch based on one of his photos.

With this painting I was working again with trying to capture the light and shadow, and of great interest to me, the warms and cools. He had a lot of cool tones in the highlighted parts of his face. I’m also working on making more pronounced brushstrokes, more strong and visible. I love bold brushwork and want to get more proficient with that!Ā  So exciting!

So, another one done. Put a fork in it! Now onto the next oil sketch. I have several in the works!

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“Stare” oil on Gessobord

“Stare,” 8×8″ oil on Gessobord. (Buy original from DailyPaintworks.) Thanks to djwar93 of DeviantArt for the stock pic I used as inspiration!

I forgot to post this painting earlier. It was completed in August. I loved the intense look on the model’s face, but when I compare my finished piece with the stock photo used as reference, I realize that it ended up being more “inspiration” than a literal reference. I changed the expression, the intensity, the contrast, a lot of things. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still obviously painted from that particular photo, but the jawline, the shape of the head, and the tilt of the head, among other things, were all changed. I don’t consider it a good likeness of the model anymore. But I have no intention of changing it.

What attracted me to this particular stock photo was the expression of the model, as well as all the variety of colors in his faceā€”the pinks, neutral greens, and even some pale lavenders. It was a challenge trying to capture all of that in the painting. Not sure I succeeded completely, but I tried!

I used Ampersand Gessobord this time, which has a luscious, smooth, eggshell-like surface. I love it. I don’t always want to paint on that type of surface, but it is one of my favorites. It works especially well with smaller works.

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Hooded Man

I don’t quite know how to explain why I chose this subject. I liked the expression and thought it was dramatic and evocative, I guess.

“Hooded Man,” oil on panel, 8×10 inches. Credit goes to djwar93 on DeviantArt for the stock photo I used as reference.

There was a lot of time spent on the values, shadows, and some on the colors (which areas were cooler, what areas were warmer?). The expression of the man came together on its own; he seems at times to me to be merely intense, thoughtfulā€”other times he seems angry and sinister. I’ll let the viewer decide!

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Lady in Green – portrait study

This is a first for my blog, and I feel a bit geeky about it. I’m posting this from my studio! I have a nice computer set up here ($100 used Mac Mini–who says that these older computers are obsolete?) and have finally configured it to upload files to my site, scan and edit artwork in Photoshop,Ā read photos from my digital camera, and the whole bit.

Anyway, back to the painting. I’ve fussed with this one for a few days and have to say I’ve very much enjoyed the process. The reference photo used had some lovely skin tonesā€”warm and cool, subtle shifts in color, and a calm, and beautiful expression on the model’s face.

I’m also trying to paint a little more boldly and thickly, though I guess it’s not enough yet to be obvious in the painting itself.

“Lady in Green,” 6×8″ oil on linen panel. Thanks to WhimseyStock for the use of the stock photo as reference!

I used a DickBlick linen panel for this painting. I haven’t used this brand of panel before, but I have to say I enjoyed it. There’s something about the texture of linen, andĀ I’ve really warmed to it. This is one of the Blick’s “high end” line of panels, I assume meant to compete with brands like Fredrix’s archival linen panels. I like both brands and will pick whichever is on sale!

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Siamese Grumpy Cat

I’ve been picking at this painting for a few days, and I think it’s time to say, put a fork in it, it is done!

“Siamese Cat Head” 8×8″ oil on panel

Thanks to Lily-Stock of dA for the photo I used as reference. I don’t currently have a siamese kitty at home, so I had to use a stock photo as reference.

This kitty looks a bit like a Siamese version of Grumpy Cat. It wasn’t deliberate! I guess I smooshed the face in somehow, or made the kitty look extra sour, or in some other way grumpified it a bit. In any case, I still kind of like how the painting turned out.

8×8″ oil on panel. It’s on a thicker, high quality archival wood panel, primed with acrylic priming. There is no “dovetail” slot (hanging slot) in the back, so it’ll need to be framed.

I enjoyed the challenge of capturing the colors in this kitty. There was a lot of blue in the fur and highlights, as well as warm tones. I’d like to do some more paintings of siamese cats.

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“Male Profile” and my new studio

I’ve been absent from this blog for too long! That’s mostly because I’ve been busy migrating all my stuff to a new, bigger studio.

I have waaaay too much stuff, particularly art stuff, like panels, boards, paints, brushes, and other art STUFF. My previous studio, while very cozy, was too cramped for all my STUFF. One day I snapped and said, “This is it!” and decided to move to a new studio, which is far roomier.

But first, a new painting. “Male Profile,” again using my fave model, Jason Aaron Baca (photographer Portia Shao).

“Male Profile,” 6×6″ oil on panel.

I tried to go with a looser feel in this portrait and think I like the direction I’m going. The palette was simpleā€”I don’t think I technically used a Zorn Palette, but I did try to keep it limited. Really loving the limited palette these days.

Now onto the studioā€”it’s not huge, but so much bigger than my postage-stamp-sized previous studio. Not that I didn’t love that studio too (got a LOT of work done there!) but I was running out of room, fast. Something had to give! And this new studio can accommodate a computer & scanner, and even a little kitchenette of sorts (hot plate, dorm fridge, and so forth). Very conducive to getting a lot of work done, I hope!

View of Studio

This is just a small view of the studio, which still needs to have more STUFF schlepped in to it. I’m trying to be sure to protect the carpet from the oil paint, as you can see with the variety of rugs and so forth littering the floor!

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Black Hat

“Black Hat” 8×10″ oil on panel. Thanks to Cathleen Tarawhiti on dA for the beautiful photo I used as reference!

The latest effort, only I’ve been picking at it and picking at it for a while now . . . I don’t know why some paintings are like that. There are the paintings that come together in a few hours, and then others that I have to revisit and fix this and fix that. Why why why? šŸ˜‰

I liked the simple color scheme in this one (lots of black and grey) and the drama of the pose.

A very limited palette was used on this one. I maybe used some magenta or perm. alizarin crimson somewhere, but for the most part I tried to limit it to Zorn: White, Black, Vermillion (Cadmium Red Light), and Yellow Ochre. There wasn’t much need for many more colors than that.

I used an 8×10″ acrylic-primedĀ panel from Dick Blick, it’s got a canvas-like texture which I kind of like!

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Some Cat Heads

I like painting the cat heads.

B&W Cat Head, oil on panel, 4×4″

I’m a “cat person” and have been enjoying painting these series of cat heads. I had a lot of fun capturing the various whites and greys in this B&W kitty’s face. The subtle colors found in the white fur, the shadows of the fur, was a challenge that I enjoyed very much.

Thanks toĀ azaleapoena on dA for the stock photo I used as reference!

Grey CAT HEAD, 5×5″ oil on panel.

This one looks a bit grumpy or sour. An alternate title might be “Glowering Grey Cat Head.” I enjoyed finding the various greys (warm and cool greys, dark and light greys) in the cat’s coat. Thank you to nickistock of dA for the use of the photo for reference!

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