Day Two of Pet Portrait class!

Pet Portrait – Day Two


Back from class and ready for bed.  :)   But before I hit the sack, I wanted to get this written and posted.
Headed to class again, this time prepared to sketch the cat onto the gessobord. Got there a bit early, chatted with folks, looked at their sketches, then started to finish up mine.

The picture I”m using of Penny was taken when she was sitting on the window sill.  I was driving home last night, thinking of how she used to jump up there, then sit and chatter at the birds on the feeder outside.  It made me laugh every time.  Then it occurred to me that I could add a bird on a feeder in the upper left corner, along with a bird peeking it’s head out.  So I added that to the sketch and decided to use that.  I wanted to do something that would reveal part of Penny’s personality and that reminded me of her.  Perfect!

While we worked on sketches, Linda got things set up for the talk/demonstration.  Once she was ready, we gathered ’round and listened hard.  A lot I was already familiar with, but it never hurts to get a refresher course.  Plus sometimes you catch something that you missed last time and that was the case today.

a good start

She went over a little color theory, strategies for deciding how to attack the painting, and demonstrated by sketching on her canvas, then she sent us all off to do it ourselves.  I cleaned up the sketch and then mixed up my paints.  Opened up the odorless mineral spirits and dished out some Neo Megilp.  (The strangest product name I have ever heard.  I want to know how they came up with it and what possessed them to use it!)  Then I got to work.

I switched between the sketch and the black and white photo.  I spent a lot of time trying to make sure that all the measurements worked out and tried to get the best resemblance possible.  The better a job I do today, the less mistakes to fix and the less reworking to do later in the process.

final outline

I will admit that I dragged my feet a little.  I was nervous about figuring out the colors and actually taking that next step, so I hemmed and hawed.  I fiddled around and thought a lot about the color scheme I was going to use.  Then suddenly it was 8:45 and since class got out at 9:00, well, why bother.  I excel at this kind of stuff, can you tell??  I ended up stopping at this point, rather pleased with the results, but wishing I had pushed myself to go a little further.  Only three more sessions left.  :(

All the way home, I kept thinking that I really should break out the paints and mess around with the paints tonight.  Try out a few color combos and see what works and what doesn’t.  I really didn’t want to, but I decided to make up for my earlier procrastination and save myself some time in tomorrow’s class.

paint samples

I got home, whipped out the paints and got to work.  I knew I wanted to go with the complimentary color scheme of blue and orange, but the colors just weren’t turning out right.  I figured out the orangey brownish color of her fur early on, but the gray was escaping me.  But as I continued to work, I started remembering bits and pieces of things I had learned before and after 45 minutes, I found the color combinations that would work for a good part of the painting.  Unfortunately, by the time I found these color combos, the canvas board I had been using to test them was nearly full.  But I dabbed some of the correct colors on there and made a couple of notes.

I’m so very thankful that I sat down to work this out tonight.  This way tomorrow I can get to class, immediately whip up the colors I need and not have to waste valuable class time struggling to get the shades right.  I”m so looking forward to working on this painting tomorrow.

I was speaking to Linda about being asked to donate a painting for the Mayor’s Charity Ball this fall and she suggested that I could donate this one.  It hadn’t occurred to me to do that, but I’m keeping it in mind.  If this painting turns out, I just may set it aside and save it.  It would be wonderful to have that project done and not hanging over my head.

Coming tomorrow will be the recap of the third day and more pictures!


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