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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catnapping I~Digby Takes a Catnap

15" x 11" on 140# Arches HP w/c paper

Having gotten a little tired of painting frogs, I found myself wondering what to paint next. I was going through some of my older photos and found one I had taken of Digby, one of my own cats, taking a power nap on the sofa. I love it when cats feel safe enough around me to sleep belly up. It's a cat's way of demonstrating true trust.


After I decided to use this photo as a reference I was stuck for a palette. I had never painted a white cat before and had no idea what colors to use. Except for the nose, I wound up with mostly cobalt blue deep and DS Moonglow, an old favorite of mine. Actually a white cat could be approached colorwise just like any other white subject because white tends to be very 'colorful' if you really take the time to observe it.


I also tried out my new masque pen and wasn't impressed at all. It tended to blob and even blew bubbles at me out of the tip a few times. Very hard to control the application, too. Maybe there's a knack to it I don't know about.


I do plan to paint this again...maybe several times. I was inspired by Jean Haines's cats(see link to her website on my blog list)and her wet and loose approach complete with blooms and drips.


Note: I have a nice new bottle of acrylic gesso(!)so I'll be playing with that again soon.

12 comments:

Jeanette said...

That's fabulous Billie. I love the pose too and how the body is defined by colour. The paws are beautifully done. This is a winner!

Billie Crain said...

I'm so glad you like this, Jeanette.:) I had fun painting it and I'm slowly beginning to feel more comfortable letting go of control with this medium. I'm constantly amazed at what's possible with w/c if I just let it do it's own 'thing'.

Costescu said...

Totally agree with Jeanette, LOVE IT :) I really like how you have let the paint do it's own thing at the bottom, I was attracted to that area immediately but the focus is definitely the cat...hmmm my cat just jumped in my lap, perhaps he is jealous I have not painted him yet ;)

I have tried the masque pen too and quite like it. Try not to press on the tube too much, just get a bead going and then keeping the tip on the paper seems to 'pull' the rest of the fluid out. I have not used it much but used it on my latest painting, Peeling Paint, and found it so much faster than painting with a brush or stick and not messy clean up :)

Billie Crain said...

I'm happy you like the painting, Tracey! Working on more difficult surfaces has definitely helped me loosen up which has been a primary goal of mine since I started painting with w/c.

Thank you also for the tip on using the masque pen. I was so disappointed when I tried to mask out Digby's whiskers with it but I left the blobs and it seemed to work out fine with the loose style of the painting. I do want to master the use of it though for more detailed applications.

p.s. Paint your cat!

Elizabeth Ruffing said...

Very nice, Billie! I like this one a lot. I always find white to be a challenge...good work!

Billie Crain said...

Thank you, Elizabeth!

andres casciani said...

Hi! I love the way the paint is "dreeping" from the figure of the cat, the combination is wonderful!

Billie Crain said...

Welcome to my blog, Andres! I've been admiring your work for quite some time. You have to be one of the most expressive artists I've come across. You have produced many powerful paintings.

I'm happy you like this one and I'm hoping to continue working to be more expressive in my own work.

Stephie Butler said...

This is absolutley gorgeous, You have a lovely style and have captured this kitty perfectly.

Billie Crain said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Stephie and welcome to my blog.:)

Jean Haines said...

Absolutely stunning and I am so thrilled you like my work!
Jean.

Billie Crain said...

I love your work, Jean! You've been a great inspiration to me.:)