Animals · paintings

Big Ears (Cat Head)

“Big Ears,” 5×5″ oil on Gessobord

This lovely kitty was painted in one sitting, which is a little unusual for me. Or perhaps this is my “new normal”? I had a 5×5″ piece of Gessobord and it needed to be used. Perfect for this modest little study of a pretty cat with big luminous eyes and enormous ears!

Gessobord has what I call an “eggshell” texture. Smooth, but not glass-smooth. I just love it, though often I find that the first layer of oils sort of slips around and doesn’t give enough coverage. That’s why I usually finish a painting over two sessions. The first layer has to finish drying, and then the second layer can get thicker and more opaque and I can finish the painting.

But with this piece, I guess I figured how to work around that, because I was able to finish it in an evening! Lots of fun!

In this painting I also am trying out a new brand of brush, from Cheap Joe’s. I use their panels a lot, but now I’m branching out. I just got some of their Clear Gesso (which I think I like slightly better than Winsor-Newton’s clear gesso). I thought I’d dabble with a few of their sable brushes just out of curiosity. Cheap Joe’s Big Red Sable Bright, sizes 6 and 8. Wow, so far I’m impressed! They are just right for my style of work. Most of this painting was done with either the 6 or the 8. (I often use a mongoose-type of brush—often Winsor-Newton’s Monarch synthetic—but when painting on a smoother surface, like Gessobord, I love to paint with all sables!)

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