Welcome to my pet and family portrait blog. If you have commissioned a portrait you can see how it is progressing. If you would like to commission me to paint your pet, family or friend then visit my site at www.katetugwellportraits.com
My latest commission is a cat called Mishulah. She has the most amazing turquoise eyes and beautiful markings. Her owner (don't cats have staff, not owners?!) wanted her portrayed with her tail wrapped around her which I was able to glean from other photos she sent me. I also posed her with her feet together for a more elegant stance. The portrait is an A4 pastel on cream pastel paper. The photos above take you quickly through the first stages of sketching the pose and laying down the base layers of coloured pastel through to the latter stages when more time is spent adding details and subtle colour changes that don't get picked up so well with the camera, but are a necessary part of bringing the animal to life. I put the eyes in first then laid a rough layer of pink all over to bring warmth to the coat and blocked in some of the white highlights. Then working from the top down, to avoid smudging, I blocked in the other main areas of colour and started adding in the dark brown markings. I used a cream pastel to blend the coat and merge the colours, taking care not to change the shape of the markings too much. The top two photos show the top layers of pastel being applied with a surprising amount of bright orange and yellow added in places alongside various shades of browns, ochres, grey, black and a touch of blue to the coat as well as the eyes (though you would never know). Finally those long, white whiskers were swept in with a sharpened pastel pencil - they're subtle, but they're there!