Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Another Cat Portrait

8" x 10" Derwent Coloursoft and Prismacolor Pencils on Dark Grey Pastelmat

Yes I know, it's been a fortnight since I posted anything on here.  The truth is have been faffing around with still life set ups which didn't work out.......again.  I then did a cat portrait on La Carte sanded paper which was....mmm....ok, but just not good enough to show.   So I've now done this one which isn't too bad I suppose.  This is Barley, my daughter's cat, who is brother to Keith whom I've drawn previously.....can you see the likeness?! 

This is the first time I've used Pastelmat paper and I found it softer and more robust than most other pastel papers I've tried and I like the colours in the range.  It's great for blending colours and getting a 'painterly' look but not so good if you want fine lines or an illustrative type of picture.  I've used Derwents and Prismas again here - I prefer the Derwents because they seem chalkier to me whereas the Prismas seem to lay down very waxy, especially the lighter colours, like white, light greys and cream.  However, you can get a much finer point with the Prismas for delicate areas, like eyes, so I guess it's swings and roundabouts with pencils.  The actual drawing has more subtle colouring, eg. more pinks in the fur, than is showing up here for some reason. 

Barley is a good looking kitty, about 18 months old, with a lovely laid back, easy-going kind of nature.  He does have a penchant for Blu Tack (sticky putty) though.  I use blobs of this stuff for lifting colour as well as dust and bits from the paper as I'm working.  If I'm not paying attention, Barley will jump up and grab the blob from my table and run away with it.  I told him today that this was getting beyond a joke - I'm finding chewed up blobs of Blu Tack all over the place!  I'm wondering what the attraction is, why is it so tasty to cats?!

While I'm on the subject of Barley, here's something quite least I think it is.  Lauren, my daughter, who has got better things to do, decided she would submit this picture of Barley


onto a quirky website called .  As you can see, it is a website where people can upload pictures of their cats if they think they bear a resemblance to Hitler!  It is clearly meant to be just a bit of harmless fun.  The site was started by some mad Englishman (of course!), based on an idea by an equally mad Dutchman - haven't these people got anything better to do with their time?!  Anyway, Lauren was a little disappointed because Barley didn't get accepted.  She thinks he does have a Hitler-esque look about him and seeing this rather menacing looking photo, I'm inclined to agree with her!  I did tell her she was mean putting Barley up for that - he is the sweetest, gentlest cat you could ever meet.   Tut, tut.... enough of this frivolity!


Felicity said...

Well Barley is a 'sugar' - much too sweet to be a little Hitler! ;) (Keith and Barley, eh?!) They look very similar to my Mum's cats (who we all thought were sisters but that's another story...) one has the sweetest nature I know and the other is just horrible - so self centred and greedy!

Anyway, more to the point - this portrait is fabulous! Again, the light is wonderful and the way it just catches the ripples in his fur. Oh, and I think cats know full well what annoys us so Barley must know the value of making off with the Blu Tack! ;)

Carolina said...

Hi Janet!
Your suppositions are not correct, I'm sorry, your cat portrait looks better than what you said :):):)It's a gorgeous cat portrait!
Barley seems to have chubbier cheecks than Keith, (maybe because he's younger...? I like cats, but never had one and don't really know much about them ):
And I'm with Felicity about the ressemblance with Hitler... mmm, maybe if he had some blue tack right above his mouth...;)
Best regards,

Janet Pantry said...

Thanks Felicity and Carolina! Yes, Barley does have a fuller, rounder face than Keith - in fact he is a bigger cat all over. Yes, Carolina, he is definitely missing the Blu Tack moustache! Hehe.

Pauline said...

Agh! Barley looks really cute. Pleased you hear you have tried pastelmat. I am getting really hooked on it now and finding different techniques for it. I have also found that Polychromos work quite well for the finer lines.

Sjamesportraiture said...

Lovely work, interested to see you used pastelmat, I've been thinking about giving it a try. At the moment I just use Mi-teintes paper. I am very unexperienced in pastels so any tip appreciated!

ernestorod said...

this cat is beautiful, congratulations and good 2010 for you


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