Not the Isle – our other cat. Like any good parent, I have no favourite when it comes to our pets, (Ripley – the Royal Python without a doubt), and as I painted Fletch, I had to paint Skye too. She is a rogue, but has lovely big green eyes, so I combined 2 photographs of her to do this painting. One for the composition and the other for the green-blues of her eyes.

This is the point that any artist dreads. Showing the ones that didn’t work out as planned. But I intend this blog to show my journey and that means the good, the bad and, I hope, no ugly. I used the CP artists’ favourite paper Stonehenge – black Stonehenge no less. A challenge? Just try and stop me. Faber-Castell Polychromos as the accompaniment.

It started well. My usual transfer method for the outline, substituting Derwent Coloursoft in White for the transfer rather than pencil because the white will show up on the black paper better, and straight onto Skye’s tag: Ivory, Cream, Naples Yellow, Dark Naples Yellow, Light Yellow Ochre, Terracotta, Burnt Sienna, Dark Sepia, Raw Umber, and Cadium Orange for the brass address holder and Dark Indigo, Indianthrene Blue, Skye Blue and Cold Grey 1 for the rings. It was looking good.

The nose, well, I had done that before, I knew what was what: Dark Flesh, Light Flesh, Burnt Carmine, Sky Blue, Light Magenta, Pink Madder Lake, Dark Sepia.

Onto the white fur: Dark Flesh, Light Flesh, Skye Blue, Warm Grey 6, Cold Grey 1 & 4, Light Ultramarine and a White Stabilo Oil pencil to punch out those whites. I had previously embossed the whiskers too, so wasn’t worried about them disappearing. At this point, I realised that I wasn’t too happy about the Stonehenge paper. It’s not as robust as I would have liked, especially with me being so heavy-handed, and I was pushing the layers.

Still, it wasn’t looking too bad and I raced ahead. Black fur is a problem. Especially on black paper but I was up for the challenge and grabbed hold of the purples: Dark Indigo, Purple Violet and White to brighten the purple occasionally.

Those beautiful eyes were a cinch: Cadium Yellow, May Green, Green Gold, Dark Pthalo Green, Cobalt Green, Dark Red, Chromium Green Opaque, Dark Sepia and Earth Green, and they just popped. The Lyra Spender to blend added just the right amount of shine coupled with my trusty Caran D’Ache Neocolor II in white for the reflection.

Then it all went wrong. A Derwent Coloursoft background in pinks and purples, layered and blended with the Lyra Splender and suddenly the painting pulled together. I was too heavy-handed, my little 3 year old kitty wasn’t fluffy or cute but scary, carnivalesque and cartoony. Parts I liked, as a whole I didn’t. Ah well. I owe you a painting Skye.



Skye: Black Stonehenge, Faber Castell Polychromos, A4



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