Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dark Grey Cat on Light Yellow background, Daily No. 3

This is the third painting in my daily painting series, and it was a challenge for me.  I realize after having painted a couple of cats lately that I didn't know the anatomy of a cat's head well enough.  So since I have quite a few models both in my own house and in my neighborhood, I've been doing a lot of sitting around, studying cats' heads.  My own cats probably think I'm pretty weird because, being a very tactile learner, I have held their little heads in my hands and felt all over them to feel the skull under all that hair and muscle.  They probably thought they were getting strange but nice head massages - no one complained or tried to leave.  Anyway, now I feel a little more comfortable about the head anatomy and am ready to tackle more cat paintings in the near future.

Still on the topic of my daily paintings, I am finding myself becoming more knowledgeable of my brushes and even my paints.  It's amazing:  I've painted for quite a number of years now, just blithely going along, grabbing whatever brush was handy and whatever in-the-ballpark paint color I needed.  Now, I'm actually (yes, I know belatedly) studying the properties of said brushes and paints.  I even did a very simple color chart of all the paints I have and actually studied their properties.  (I have a lot!!! to learn.)  And brushes, they're finally beginning to make sense to me.

My family, on the other hand, are beginning to be concerned, I think, about all the time I'm spending locked up in my studio.  Wow, 30 days is going to be a lot longer than I expected it would be.

Day before yesterday, I did take a wonderful break, though.  My daughter, son-in-law, and little granddaughter and I took a beautiful hike on one of the "Rails-to-Trails" paths fairly near where we all live.  (It was near Vernonia here in Oregon, and I'll be happy to provide exactly where it was if anyone is interested.)  It was beautiful, and I took lots of photos with the hopes of doing a landscape from some of them.  There was an old train trestle, the top of which had been converted into a footbridge, but the old beam and timber supporting structure still stood.  It was amazing to be able to study the intricate way it had been put together.  We had a long discussion about all the workers it must have taken to build it, and out in the middle of a forest, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well - I think you're too hard on yourself. I think your cat painting is quite beautiful. I love the confident, challenging stare of the cat and the way the eyes draw you in. The eyes are beautifully done. Also, cats heads are of such a variety of shape - just like people's heads are - so it would be hard to go wrong. I have one cat that has a very little, delicate head compared to her body. My two other cats have bigger heads. And my black cat has huge, yellow eyes - or maybe they just look that way because they're so luminous! (I'm trying to do a night painting of this one). I think it's most important to capture the essence, the personality of these cats rather than worry too much about perfect anatomy. Sometimes we can focus so much on the outside perfection of something that a painting can become stiff and lose the spiritual expression of the subject. Just my opinion. I'd love to see more of your work. You can see mine at :)