Animals are great subject matter to create a painting from. I am always looking for an excuse to use lots of colours in my work and watercolours gives me that and more. The transparent capacity of the paint lets me layer and layer some more allowing colours to increase in vibrancy. New colours are also created when they overlap each other giving you additional wonderful effects.
I love the shape of cats with all their fluffy coated elegance. They are regal and intelligent and perfectly beautiful to look at. When sitting they take on the shape of a perfect little statue.
I surround my painting area on my watercolour paper with masking tape so that the finished painting will have a lovely crisp clean edge once removed. After sketching my cat image in light pencil my approach to this watercolour painting ‘Feline Fine’ was to create a line drawing using permanent ink as a base. I first chose a super thin pen nib, but after felt it was looking too fragile so went over it with a more robust thicker ink pen line. Once I was satisfied with the drawing I couldn’t wait to start the painting part. I began by placing my first layer of coloured rectangles freely in different angles across my image on my dry paper. I kept the swatches of colour organic in shape by not using a ruler but doing them freehand. I let each layer of colours completely dry before adding the next. Using a hair blow dryer set on low can help speed up this process.
I then painted in some deep purples and cool blues in the background so that the warm oranges and yellows and pinks would pop against them which add that bright contrast. I chose to add the same ink outlines to some of the coloured squares in the background but stopped at the edge of the cat image. The final flourish was painting in the cat’s pretty green eyes with their white highlights. I didn’t use white paint for those I was just careful to paint around the highlights and let the white of the paper show through.