Sunday, November 25, 2012

Proportion: Christmas Calico Cat

6 x 6 Acrylic on stretched canvas.

Definition of Calico Cat: Calico refers to the color 
pattern of the cat not the breed.  The color pattern 
occurs in a non-predictive manner.    

I have been on a quest to capture the essence "catness ". 
I have struggled with the facial proportions.  I must be 
painting my mental image of "catness" and not what is 
really there.  I have never owned a cat and I believe 
familiarity with an animal makes it easier to under-
stand its proportions.  With this painting I kept 
stopping and putting it aside, so I could look at it 
with fresh eyes and evaluate where I was 
proportionally off. This was very helpful since my 
original painting was off in the relationship of the ears 
to the head and the length of the face from the nose 
down. This painting is closer to looking convincing 
than many I have done. After I finished it I asked 
myself why? Yes, my measurements and angles 
are more accurate.  I started to investigate cat 
facial proportions and found that pentagonal symmetry 
is applicable to a cat face, as well as to many other 
creatures. We as humans love symmetry.  We find
beauty in it.  Maybe this is why I like this cat painting 
better than most I have done.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Exercise: Two Hour Portrait: Old Man

I posted this larger so that you can see the brush strokes.  It is  acrylic, 8 x 10 inches on stretched canvas.  It was done in 2 hours.  Portraits can easily be overworked. I wanted to limit my time so that could not occur.  Yes, I am guilty of overworking, just like many of you. It is quite easy to keep changing and changing, but after a point the freshness is gone.  I am not a professional portrait painter, but I do enjoy painting people with character evident on their faces.  I also love brush stroke.  When I paint, I want the brush stroke to show.  I do not want it to look like my colored pencil paintings, which are very realistic.  The smallest brush I used was a # 7 old, frayed. round.  I also used a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch flat brush. The flats help to define the planes, the round makes the lines.