Gizmo done


Gizmo

I finished Gizmo’s watercolor portrait, and I must say, I like it much better than the acrylic one.  I was able to be much more delicate in depicting him – and he was a very delicate little guy.  I think for portraiture (both pet and architectural) that pen and ink with the watercolor or pastel overlay is much more suited to my style.  I really need to take an acrylic class and get a better idea of technique.

Redoing Gizmo’s portrait

Pencil up

I wasn’t ever really happy with the acrylic portrait of Gizmo the cat, so I decided to try it again with the pen and watercolors.  Here are the pencil drawing and the inked sketch.

So far, I am pleased.  I feel I have so much more control with the pen and watercolors.  Maybe it is the lazy way out, but I haven’t done a pet portrait since the two of my friend’s horses last summer and I wanted to try something again.  I’ll wait to finish the inking if I need to until after the watercolors.  I don’t want it to get too dark as he was a lighter orange tabby.

Inked

Crabby Cat Portrait

Crabby cat

Crabby cat

Our cat Perkins was named for a grey cat in the children’s book “The Castle of Cats”, one of my daughter’s favorite childhood books.  She was a typical tortoise-shell cat with a grey/pale orange/white coat, except for the six toes, just like Hemingway’s cats.

She looks rather innocuous  in this portrait, but I called her Crabby Cat.  We got her as a kitten when the kids were small and they grew up together.  I show her here, perched on top of the water heater in the laundry room off of the kitchen.  She liked the out of the way place it was located and I think jumped up on it from the washing machine.  I’m sure that the warmth that it gave off was quite an incentive too.  She wasn’t particularly sociable, but she did like warm feet.  The only time she consented to sit on anyone’s lap was in the dead of winter when she got cold.  You could feel the iciness of her foot pads right through your pants. Only brief patting was allowed; then she just better be able to sit there and get warm.  Picking up was not usually permitted.

It wasn’t as though she was a biter when she got annoyed.  She just preferred interactions on her own terms and she definitely let you know when time was up. She never broke any skin, but after she had enough (which never was actually very long) you got the point.  Even the dog knew not to mess with her.  She was a cat to look at more than to play with.  I have heard that this aloofness is common for calicos and tortoise shell cats and now that I have looked for it, I believe it is true.

I definitely like this piece more than the black cat ones.  That dark color was really HARD and allowed for very little subtlety.  I am not unhappy with the way the two turned out, but this one gives me a bit more confidence in selling pet portraiture. This looks like Perkins, even to me.