Animals · paintings · portraits

Warm & Cool, plus Close-up Cat head

“Warm & Cool,” 14×14″ oil on cradled panel.

(This painting was a recent award-winner! I ramble more about that in a previous post. This work got 1st place in the Oil category at a local art show.)

“Close-up” (Cat Head), 4×4″ oil on panel.

A mini 4×4 inch cat head!

Okay, I’ve got a lot to cover in this post, no time to waste!

First, the “Warm & Cool” painting is of a local model. She posed for a life drawing group I frequent, and I asked if I could take some photos for use as reference later. Finally, I got around to doing a painting!

I entitled it “Warm & Cool” just because of the colors I was finding in her skin. Though to be honest, almost all painting subjects have both warm and cool colors, don’t they?

I used an American Easel 1-1/2″ cradled panel for this piece. Since 14×14″ is not a standard size, they only sold an unprimed panel, so I had to prime it myself. I used Cheap Joe’s Clear Gesso for this, and it worked very nicely! I thought the gesso (acrylic-based primer) had some tooth, but not too much. It was truly transparent and let the lovely wood color show underneath.

I didn’t paint the sides of the panel, because I wanted the wood to show through. I’m not sure I’ll keep it that way, though. I may paint the sides with either a pale blue (to match the background) or some other matching color.

The “Close-up” cat head was tons of fun. I painted this lovely kitty on a small 4×4″ wood panel. It has approximately 1/2″ thick sides and a “dove-tail” slot (a slot which allows you to slide the panel right onto a nail on the wall—no need for a frame unless you want to!). The sides are painted a dark color.

I primed this panel with some fabulous Holbein “Foundation” color (the “greenish” variation). Oh my word, how wonderful it is to paint on a lead-based foundation primer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It has a different feel than any other surface. I will be preparing more boards with some sort of lead-based oil primer; it’s that fabulous.

As for the painting of the kitty—what a beautiful cat! I really tried to focus on the eyes in this one. I notice that very often the pink noses of these cats are such a pale pink that they lean towards blue. So I added some cool tones to the highlighted part of the pink nose.

I enjoyed painting both of these works very much!

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