I have shied away a little from animal pictures but, really, as a ‘wildlife’ artist, I think that animals must be a part of the portfolio, so I decided to have a go and chose a handy subject, our own pet cats, for the first go. I know they are hardly wild, although they can get pretty riled up, sometimes! Finding photos was a bit of a problem as they are notorious for hiding whenever a camera is waved in their direction, but I did find a couple of pictures in the archives (not sat together, of course) for the composition. These cats are hardly ever seen sitting together, even though (or perhaps because) they are supposed to be sisters. We don’t really know if this is the case as they were rescue cats, allegedly found in a box on a pet shop doorstep when they were kittens. Anyhow, Mark had taken a couple of shots of them, over the years, sitting on various pieces of furniture, and I combined these images for my composition.
This is Bubble…
and this one is Joy, both named for their friendly, outgoing personalities when we first got them. Joy went missing, hiding in the basement, for a full three weeks after we picked them up from the rescue foster home whilst we tore the house apart trying to find her. They have got friendlier (sort of) since then!
The main media used were Caran d’Ache Supracolor aquarelles and Derwent Watercolour pencils, as usual, but I had some issues trying to keep the area of the whiskers clear of paint…it proved an impossible task. However, internet help, especially from ‘Pencil Artist Friends’ (a group I am a member of), suggested that most artists actually added whiskers in afterwards using gouache, artist’s ink or gel pen. I struggled to get any of these here in darkest southwest Nova Scotia (white gel pens are definitely a specialist item), but Amazon came to the rescue with a three pack of different white pens. The postage came to more than the cost of the pens, as they were shipped from the UK, but they arrived, safe and sound, within a week of the order. A white Uni-ball Signo pigment ink pen proved just the thing to add in whiskers and other minor highlights to finish off the portraits. I did enjoy trying to capture the intricacies of the fur of our two elegant ladies and this portrait will definitely be going up on our wall soon.
‘The Girls’, 11 x 14 inch, watercolour pencil (Caran d’Ache Supracolor, Derwent Watercolour) with Uni-ball Signo gel pen on 140 lb cold press watercolour paper (Canson XL).