Thursday, January 5, 2017

30 in 30 Challenge - Louie (SOLD)

My friend, Rhea has 3 cats and loves animals. I painted her friend's dog the other day, and Rhea wanted me to do one of her cats. I picked Louie. Her cats usually hide from humans. (I have revised this post because Rhea told me this was actually Louie...not Maggie like I originally posted.)

Animals with dark fur are so hard to do! It is hard to get the depth of color without the whole animal looking dark. I'll show you below some of my steps in this painting of Louie.

After drawing out Louie I masked out some of the white areas, especially his whiskers. Then I covered most of her fur with pale washes of sepia and indigo trying to get the color darker near the whiskers so they will show.

I kept adding layers of sepia and indigo, a little darker in some areas.

I started adding texture to the fur using a burnt umber watercolor pencil and a General's sketch and wash pencil. The lines were somewhat blended with water.

I continued layering the pencils and then more sepia and indigo watercolor until the entire body was covered.

I used some orange for her eyes (which is the color Rhea said they were) and dark pupils with a mix of sepia, indigo and ultramarine. Some of the whiskers I went over with white gel pen to make them stand out more. I did leave some of the pencil marks without wetting them at the end for texture. The original photo didn't show her paw on the right or her tail on the left, but I thought the painting needed it.

Don't forget you can look here to see the other works that were painted today.


  1. She turned out well Joan and I liked seeing the process. I haven't used the graphite that can be washed much, but after looking at this I have to give it a try. I am going to sneak some sketching into this challenge too!! It might get me started doing more drawing as I have kind of left of doing that. Today must be cat day as I have a cat too!! Of course if you are doing animals, stands to reason there aren't that many to do. Anyway I have been told that black cats/dogs don't adopt as well - hmmm, never knew that.

  2. Love seeing your process. Sweet!

  3. Well done Joan! I find it interesting that you use sepia and indigo for your grey/black tones. I know that the sepia is a staining colour and I always try to stay away from those and I don't think I even have a tube of indigo. Interesting colour choices that I might just have to try.

  4. Thanks. Nelvia. I never heard that about the adoptions.

    Sheila, thanks so much.

    Val, I use sepia a lot, but rarely use indigo. It seemed to work well for this one.

  5. Sharing your process is so fun to view! Nice kitty!