In preparation for a some advertising at a cat show this week (thanks to Linvid Pet Hotel for the heads up and the kind offer to promote my flyers), I decided to paint a Maine Coon in soft pastels. The focus for this picture was the beautiful eyes and silky fur of these cats, and thanks to Pixabay for the reference material.
This picture was certainly a challenge due to the flecked colours in the fur of its head and trying to keep the contrast of the body fur, but using pastel pencil in an opposing method (you don’t draw with it, you hold it in your fist and stab the paper at an angle) the flecks soon started to build up. I find that it’s sometime easier to put down light first then stab with the darker colours.
Art Spectrum ‘Colourfix’ paper is great for this size of picture when using soft pastels. When drawing in the soft fur it has the added benefit of helping with the silky smooth effect when you drag your finger across the sandy “tooth” of the paper after laying down a few colours. It takes a lot of layers but works well.
For the eyes I used light turquoise, green, brown, orange, purple, black and yellow and then applying a contrasting red in the surrounding fur. This helped to give focus on the eyes.
Things get pretty intense once you get into the swing of things. Drawing from photographs is certainly not painting by numbers. The aftermath….
Anyway, off to get a frame now and I’m looking forward to meeting new people and getting some more reference material at the cat show (and who knows, maybe an order or two).