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Friday, July 11, 2014

Cat Portraits

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty; human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not." Ernest Hemingway

I enjoyed meeting these pretty kitties just a few weeks ago. Their owner, Colleen, and I were not sure how it would go. We were both thinking it might take more than one visit (just to get to know me a bit) before they would be willing to "pose" in front of my camera. Just the opposite happened. Instead of running underneath the nearest chair or couch, they both remained relaxed and relatively still. It seemed as if they understood all along the purpose of this visit. With some nice back lighting from the living room window, Klowee and Kalli Kitti looked and me and waited just long enough for me get some nice reference photos for their portraits before they moved on to more important matters.

8 x 10", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson
Stage 1: Drawing Klowee with a thin wash of paint.
Stage 2: Blocking in the first layer(underpainting). After choosing my colors I used a large brush to lay down the paint in the basic shapes.
Stage 3: Final layer. While the underpainting was still wet I came in with the top layer of thicker paint to add texture and detail. I started with the background so that blending the edges would be easier. After the background I painted the eyes and then moved on from there until she was completed.  Painting Klowee's whiskers was so much fun. 
Cat Portrait No. 2: Kalli Kitti
Stage 1: Drawing in Kalli Kitti with a thin wash of paint.Since I do this freehand I have a cloth that I use as an eraser to wipe away any unwanted lines, making adjustments as I go.
Stage 2: Blocking in Kalli Kitti with bold colors and contrast.
Kalli Kitti
8 x 10', Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson

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