Jan 29, 2015

How to Build a Cat!!!


Not a Mechanical Cat
Or a Wooden Cat 
A Real Live Cat!!

With thick, fluffy fur 

in Watercolour.
China Blue - 5 x 7 - Watercolour  $130
Working with the 30 Day Challenge has really got me working!!  My specialty is animals in graphite, don't get me wrong, I still love my graphite. However, many students I work with want to improve their drawing to paint better. I felt to really help them, I needed to paint too!!  China Blue was my first step.  Using Phallo Blue (Red Shade) I build my cat.  Well, my neighbour's cat.  He was very nice to pose for me in many wonderful poses!!

How to Build a Cat: 
Step 1.  Have a good photo that shows nice lights and darks to define the cat.
Step 2.  Make a light outline drawing of the cat marking in a few reference points: eyes, nose, important junctions.
Step 3.  Prepare a light wash and paint it over the whole cat, saving your whites.  Indicate some fur bits on edges where it really fluffs out. (On China Blue it would be on the right side)
Step 4.  Put a light wash over all the areas that are a mid tone and dark tone.  This begins to build the planes that define the cat.  
A close up of China, showing the build up of layers
Step 5. Take another light wash and build up the mid tone areas.  Always watching how much of the area is midtone and how much is darker.  Each layer should be getting smaller as you move out of the midtones into the darker ones. 
Step 6.  Repeat Step 5 as needed.  Don't fiddle, test your colour first and go for it.  
Step 7. Paint the darkest areas.  
Step 8.  Paint the whiskers. (I used a bleed proof white watercolour.)

I worked each layer wet onto dry which gave me some sharper edges, when I was finished I took a wet brush and painted over the cat to soften the edges but still leave them visible.  You can also work the layers wet into wet which give a move blended sculpture of the cat.  
Very important to step back and look at your picture, I guarantee half way through you will want to chuck it!!  But keep building your layers and stepping back, you will be amazed as it all comes together.  

Tomorrow will be the last day of the 30 Day Challenge - see my Pictures on my 30 Day Page and follow the link to vote on the pictures.  You get 3 votes for each day of pictures so save one for mine!!!

 Artists, my all day Marketing Workshop is set for Sunday, February 22, 2015, 10-3pm.  Build your Marketing Skills to become an Independent Artist on your terms.  See  Marketing Page for more  Information.  Registration. Extra Marketing Session Added - Sunday, March 8, 10-3pm.  

Don't live in the Fraser Valley?  I am available for presentations to your art group or come and stay, I have a special workshop Bed and Breakfast rate.  Just email for info. 

Contact Wendy to purchase any of my Work.  Collectors enjoy a 10% discount on all original work.


Sheila said...

Great post Wendy :) Love your cat!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks, China Blue was a great way to try my tonal values in paint. And of course blue is one of my favourite colours. A very good recipe!

Brenda Hill CDM said...

He looks good!