Today I have something a little bit different. At the beginning of this month, I saw that the March Challenge at Country View was called The Eyes Have It and I automatically thought of cat’s eyes of course!  But then a whole bunch of sad and unpleasant stuff happened, and then on top of that, our whole country was put on lockdown, and I completely lost my creative spark.  I had no interest and no ideas and really just wanted to sit on the couch and watch Netflix and comfort eat.  Then I was talking (online) to one of my friends and she told me to go clean up my room, sort through stuff and maybe I’d find something that might make sense to me.  So after some resistance, I went upstairs and found this page in my art journal.

You can’t see the date but it was sketched out on 12th June, 2019. In fact, I made a WIP post about it here. I don’t know what happened, but I remember that I planned to use coloured pencils to colour it in, but I never did, and so here it was today waiting for me.  I felt like I wanted to paint it though, rather than use the Polychromos, and at first thought watercolour, but then changed my mind and decided to use acrylics!  I have to say right now, that I have never painted a cat using any medium, so why I decided on acrylics is anyone’s guess, but here’s what happened.  Oh and I took a few step by step photos just to remind myself later, more than anything else, so feel free to skip them if you like.

The fact that I sketched this out would have been a good idea if I had ended up using pencils or even watercolour, as I would still have had my sketch to follow, using acrylics meant that my sketch very quickly disappeared and I started to regret my choice.

After painting in the eyes, I painted the rest of the page dark brown. This is a combination of Fresco paints, French Roast and something else I can’t remember atm.  I don’t know why but this reminds me of a cake, a chocolate cake, or maybe I just really want a chocolate cake right now. A kid’s birthday cake with some textured icing on it to make it look like fur…

Then I added this great colour, one of my favourites – Pumpkin Soup – again not helping me as now I really want some pumpkin soup!

Then I added a bunch more colours including Toffee (more food names!)

Some black and some lighter neutrals around the eyes.

I got totally stuck at this point and nearly gave up as it looked nothing like my cat. Oh I probably didn’t mention that I had a specific cat in mind lol.  So I grabbed a photo of her and made some adjustments, including the white under her mouth.

I lightened everything up a little after adding the white, and outlined her nose in black and dark brown.

I had a few attempts at her mouth before ending up with a very small mouth, but at least it was starting to look more like a cat.

Added more colours in her fur, more Toffee, more browns, a little black, and did a bit more work around her eyes.

The final touches were adding some whiskers and the highlights in her eyes. Oh I forgot to mention, I used fluid acrylics for the eyes which turned out to be a good thing as they made her eyes very shiny in contrast with the chalk paints I used for her fur.

And signing it of course, like it was a famous cat painting by a famous artist lol.

Since this is a spread in my art journal, I felt that it needed some words so I added these Tim Holtz small talk stickers.

Here’s a closer look at the words.  The first line applies to me, since I really needed courage to start randomly painting a cat when I had never painted a cat before.  The second two lines apply to all cats everywhere.

This handsome boy wants to be next.  Paint me he said, I am a masterpiece!

And here is the original subject – Miss Possie Cat herself.  Such an amazing cat, super smart, understood everything I said, and took no nonsense from anyone.  Once had her tongue ripped out defending her territory from a feral cat, and the vet found it dangling down her throat when he went to cauterize the wound, and was able to reattach it!  Slightly wonky but fully functional and almost good as new.  So many Possie Cat stories. Miss you every day lovely girl.


So there we are, something very different for me, but I really enjoyed doing it and I’m thinking I might try my hand at painting more cats.  This was all about the eyes so I made them really big, so next time I might try something more in proportion with the rest of the face. Actually I just remembered there is another cat (well part of a cat) in this art journal, if you want more.

I hope you like the spread, let me know what you think in the comments below.





See comments as to why…
Country View Challenge MarchThe Eyes Have It – cat face art journal spread with really big green eyes – each eye is almost the full width of the page.
Art Journal Journey March – Green – very big green eyes in my AJ spread
A Vintage JourneyCelebration Time Come On – I’m celebrating the therapeutic benefits of art journaling whilst being in lockdown for three months, and the discovery of how much I enjoyed painting cats.  Could be a new thing for me.
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday ChallengeAnything Goes

Project Recipe

Dylusions large Art Journal
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints
Finnabair acrylic paints
Decoart fluid acrylics
Tim Holtz small talk stickers
From stash:

13 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Julia Aston
April 6, 2020 7:13 pm

I just loved seeing this wonderful cat face appear with all your wonderful layers! Thanks for sharing this with us at AVJ! xx

Deb Riddell
April 2, 2020 8:28 pm

What a fabulous art journal spread and love how you used your beloved cat’s image as the inspiration to use your art journaling as a positive and therapeutic outlet during these trying times. Thanks so much for joining us at A Vintage Journey for our “Celebration” challenge, Deb xo

Jane Tyrrell
April 2, 2020 3:29 pm

This is fab Elle and I am so glad you finished it off in time to join in with our March The eyes have it challenge over at Country View, a great entry!

March 31, 2020 10:50 pm

Fabulous page, Elle!

Thank you for sharing it with us at Art Journal Journey and for all of your support of my green theme throughout the month.

Stay safe and well.

Eileen xx

Nancy Williams
March 31, 2020 11:13 am

Oh my gosh, this was great to see how it all evolved. Love it! The eyes are amazing. Then to see your muse and learn of her strength and intelligence and how much you miss her. Heartwarming. TFS

Erika N
March 30, 2020 11:12 pm

Oh I do like this empire of the cat. What a super face and a unique journal page. I am glad you decided to join us at Art Journal Journey and Eileen’s green challenge. I really enjoyed seeing this page. Hugs-Erika

March 30, 2020 10:27 pm

Wow, those eyes look amazing. Your cat painting looks fabulous, the fur looks so real and makes me want to reach out and touch. Miss Possie looked a really lovely cat and I hope you will one day paint your handsome cat and show us here.
I am smiling at the names of your paints I wouldn’t mind a bowl of pumpkin soup right now.
Thank you for linking to Art Journal Journey and for all your support for Eileen’s theme this month.
Stay safe and well.
Yvonne xx

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