Friday, March 21, 2008

I Was Just Looking for Fellow Cat Painters......

I was curious what other cat artists were creating as I love painting cats myself. Not literally paint cats, of course. In the process of searching online I ran across the funniest website called,
'Why Paint Cats'
Burton Silver and Heather Busch published the book, Why Paint Cats featuring photos of elaborately painted real live cats. Apparently when the book hit the stores the reaction was everything from admiration to outrage. During further investigation I discovered the entire thing was an enormous(and profitable)hoax perpetrated by the writers and some clever digital manipulation. Why paint cats indeed. *grin*

Snopes~Painted Cats
Why Paint Cats on Amazon

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Miss Willmott Comp~Revised

I've been playing a lot with the composition on this one. I wasn't happy at all with my first attempt. I thought it looked like a 'mugshot'. Something you'd see on a botany website...informative but no excitement whatsoever. It didn't do this plant justice at all. I decided to try working from another perspective. Looking down at a slight angle, this plant in full bloom looks to me like lots of white fireworks going off all at once.

This sketch is nothing more than quick scribbles but I'm liking it much better than the last one.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Workin' The Kinks Out

Inspiration strikes when I least expect it sometimes. Yesterday morning I was shlumping on the sofa in my PJs with Digby, my one and only male cat snoozing beside me, watching Saturday morning TV(which leaves something to be desired)and wondering what my next art project would be. A commercial came on and as always the volume on the TV increased considerably.

Before I could hit 'mute' Digby woke, hopped off the sofa and took a big looooong stretch(workin' the kinks out, I call it). As I watched him I suddenly thought, " Wow! What's more 'cat' than that?!" With no time to snap a photo I had to try and commit that moment to memory. I grabbed my pencils and paper and started sketching. After several tries I wound up with this.(see above) I'd like to refine it a bit more before I paint this so I've been keeping paper and pencil handy at all times waiting for him to stretch again. So far that hasn't happened but I'll be ready when it does. Right now my sketch doesn't look too bad as is but I'm still workin' the kinks out..........

Friday, March 07, 2008

Know The Value Of Your Colors

This was something I had to learn when I started working with color and I'm still learning. What range of values can be achieved by each color? Color can be so deceiving. The actual value of a certain color at maximum strength may look pretty darn dark to the eye but put it into greyscale and the results may amaze you. For instance Cobalt Blue Deep looks like it could go fairly dark but at full strength it really can't. Aureolin yellow at full strength barely makes the midtone range, if at all.

Some artist's like to work 'highkey' and produce very successful results. In other words, they keep their work in the midtone to light range. I'm not one of those artists. I like to use a full range of values to pack a punch, make a painting *pop*, give it pazzazz, whatever you may call it. Highkey artists may use complimentary colors to add drama. I do both. I'm such a drama queen.

Above I've done a greyscale of my painted palette along with a full color palette. I've added a greyscale chart for comparison. The results may surprise you.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Signs of Spring

It seems this winter has been dragging on forever. We still have lots of snow and very cold temps. I found a photo I took last Spring of a cluster of white crocuses in my garden and decided to paint it in hopes it would give me that Spring feeling. I used the Uno paper and a few new (to me) techniques. Lots of wet into wet painting, mixing at lot of the colors on the paper instead of my palette, using paper towels and my fingers for texture, etc. I also tried out a few new colors...Warm Sepia and Neutral Tint. This painting is much looser than my usual style and I quite enjoyed it! I may redo this one and try other colors and go for something even more loose.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

CATITUDE 5~Surprise!(?)

This one has been a long time coming. I started over 4 times before getting anything I felt was decent enough to post. I'm still not satisfied with it.

I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't the new paper I'm using. The paint is just not behaving for me the way I'd like. I got a great 'going-out-of-stock' deal on Fabriano Uno paper...five full sheets for $10. Before ordering I did a little research on it and found information stating it was the same as Fabriano Artistico(which I love!) only they had changed the name. When it arrived I noticed the surface texture was quite different from the Artistico. It had a pressed linen-like texture and was a bit shiny. I also noticed it tends to buckle easily with heavy washes. Another thing...when glazing over dry washes the paint lifted. I'm going to order my favorite Fabriano Artistico and re-do this painting....again(!) and compare the results. I'll be painting this cat in my dreams.

Anyone who owns or even knows a cat also knows they don't like surprises. Neither do I. Especially if they aren't 'good' surprises.