Artwork by BZTAT
Many of my commissioned pet portraits come from places far away from me, which is fun and exciting.
Local commissions, however, offer me the chance to actually meet the pets I am to paint. Lucy is a cat in Canton, and I was so thrilled to meet her! She is quite the snuggler, and I got to pet and scritch her ears to my heart’s content. I enjoyed meeting her person, as well.
Calico cats are a challenge to paint, as their markings always fall into interesting patterns that can be hard to abstract into simple shapes. Luckily, I have a calico of my own, Slick, so I am familiar with these challenges.
Lucy actually looks a lot like my Slick, so their images look similar. Lucy’s eyes are much more serious looking, and her markings fall into different shapes, but overall, the process of painting the two different cats was similar.
My first step was to paint the background black and then block in colors and shapes.
Using my usual layering technique, I refined the colors and shapes, building up color by painting many layers of varied colors on top of each other.
Each layer reveals some trace of the underneath layers.
I really liked how these initial phases were going, except for one thing. The shape of the head really was not Lucy’s shape.
Although I am not one to stick to strict details for an animal’s likeness, it is important to get the essentials correctly depicted to give the viewer an accurate reflection of the animal’s character. I made some adjustments.
The background of Lucy’s painting reflects the paneling on the wall of her home, since she is an indoor cat.
I really enjoyed meeting and painting Lucy! Here is a photo of her person as she picked the painting up from my studio. She seems pretty happy with it, dont’ you think?
If you are interested in a pet portrait of your animal, info about the process can be found here. Please email BZTAT to make an order or to get further information about getting a custom portrait of your pet.