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A New Angel: Charles

Cat Scout Charles made his way to The Bridge this week, and it broke my heart. He was a sweet cat--nearly as sweet as his mom.

So, my first task was to create a source image I'll use when I paint the portrait. This digital drawing (see above) will be used on the Cat Scouts website to memorialize Charles. Then I'll print copies to be used to copy an outline of Charles' features to the canvas and guide me as I complete the painting.

I do the quick digital drawing as a reference rather than using a photo because often, those source photos are suboptimal--either poor lighting, a too-busy background, out-of-focus areas, etc. The digital drawing remedies any shortcomings and optimizes the image before it ever touches the canvas.

I love what's going on with Charles' nose -- wonderfully distinctive. I also love the way the tabbies tend to wear black eyeliner; it makes the eyes pop out from the canvas.

I'm toying with have another Cat Scout tag made just for this portrait -- it's what he's wearing on his collar--but it would be hard to incorporate the 3D object and convincingly place it behind tufts of fur. So, I'm still mulling over that option.

As I work through my current work, I keep the canvases perched on a shelf in front of me and look at them throughout the day, I note what's working and what's not, Even when I think I'm done, I'm not. There are always at least a couple of things that haven't quite clicked. Once I can go a day or two without finding fault, I call the project done.

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