View Full Version : Rag Doll cat-WIP

02-07-2012, 06:19 AM
Hi all,

This is what I'm working on at the moment, it started out as a coloured pencil/pastel combo, but is really a pastel piece at this stage. Its 14 x 11 on grey ampersand pastel board. I'm a newbie to pastels, so still learning and am wondering does the background overwhelm the cat a bit - there are more red flowers to go in at the left, or does it look ok at this stage?

Thanks to John Bristowe for the photo on Flickr

Zoe Sotet
02-07-2012, 06:47 AM
Oh my gosh it's beautiful! Both the drawing and the cat.

There should be a forum just for cat art. I always go straight for them :rolleyes: :cat:

02-07-2012, 06:56 AM
The cat is gorgeous! Love it!

02-07-2012, 10:27 AM
The background doesn't overwhelm the cat. It fits in just fine, nice work!

02-07-2012, 10:40 AM
I , TOO, Love this kitty. that face it wonderful and am fascinated with all the colors you used in the fur. In MHO it seems a bit heavy on the left side. I do like the flowers behide the cat and watching to see how they come out. Maybe adding just a bit on the right? Is this what they call a blue seal point?


02-07-2012, 11:00 AM
Beautiful job on the cat!

02-08-2012, 02:45 AM
Very good work on the cat Lexy IMHO Keep the bg a little blurred not to compete with the cat I think you will need a few flowers on the botttom right to balance the left one and as you did a little red shades in the fur maybe a few green reflections to hamonise it to the bg but no rush you re doing a very good work and with pastels you will be able to adjust things I have no doubt about the issue wonderful as usual

chammi kaiser
02-08-2012, 03:21 AM
That is a very beautiful cat, Lexy.

02-08-2012, 08:15 AM
A :thumbsup: fine looking kitty!

02-08-2012, 12:13 PM
Lovely. Robert (Skappy) had some good suggestions.

02-08-2012, 12:17 PM
Many thanks everyone for the comments - Robert I wouldnt have thought to put some green into the fur so thank you for the tip - I will finish it and see about the flowers. I plan to work a lot more in pastels and will hopefully get better at judging backgrounds, with coloured pencils you spend your time avoiding them as it takes forever!

02-10-2012, 12:19 PM
Gorgeous kitty kat lexy well done. :cat:

02-10-2012, 01:45 PM
Looking great!


02-11-2012, 12:17 PM
Thanks Lisa & Sean for the comments.

I attach an update - one of the things that was suggested was to tone down the grass and flowers as they were competing with the cat - I've done this but think I've gone too much the other way and the background looks too dull and dark, so may brighten it up a bit again. I always find the animal part so much easier than the background part:(

02-11-2012, 12:20 PM
the cat really pops now but still feel its a bit heavy on the right. Gosh dern I love that face.


02-11-2012, 01:25 PM
Just love this kitty! Wonderful use of color on the white area!

As to the bg, which I have difficulty with- Maybe locating a right side (viewer's right)light source, and then lighten the right side foreground(as well as the kitty) would do the trick?
I think you've done a great job on this!

02-11-2012, 01:46 PM
I can almost feel the velvet touch your picture evokes. This is beautiful! I agree trying to put a spit of green somewhere in the cat. There is something about this technique that balances striking colors and makes them feel more like they belong. Just like you have pinkish tones in the fur that balances the flowers, see if you can incorporate an olive or light green in the fur. Someone told me this once and it amazed me how just putting a touch of purple in to balance the background to a dog I did helped to make it feel part of the landscape and not so "stuck to it". Hope this helps.

02-11-2012, 05:10 PM
Laurie, Barb & Lucy - thank you for the comments and suggestions. I agree the cat looks a bit "pasted" on and I will try and improve on this, never too sure how to blend the subject properly into the background. Barb, I dont know where the light source is exactly, but I like the idea, I'll leave it for a few days and come back on finish it with a fresher eye - appreciate the help from everyone, it makes me improve and grow:)

02-12-2012, 12:42 PM
I wonder if it might benefit from a crop. There is the heaviness on the right due to the expanse with nothing going on. It might balance well to crop the right edge more and the left edge a little? If you'd like an example I could PM you one. Just an idea. Hard to describe.

I actually like it more with the diminutive background. I think that was good move to help kitty pop more.

02-12-2012, 01:08 PM
Hi Lucy,

Please pm your example if you have time, I'd appreciate it, and thank you:)

Another poster Robert (Skappy) very kindly made a mock up with some flowers to the right to balance the piece and I think it looks great, but I was afraid to do it, in case I messed the whole thing up - I just dont have confidence in my pastel and backgrounds abilities as yet, but I am very open to suggestions as I can take them into account for further pieces.