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 March – The 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 Journey – Celebration 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 Challenge – Anything Goes
Dylusions large Art Journal
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints
Finnabair acrylic paints
Decoart fluid acrylics
Tim Holtz small talk stickers