View Full Version : WIP Ocelot

10-06-2013, 06:11 AM
Hi all

Work in progress. Soft and hard on Wallis, which I really, really like. I've been a lot looser with this, normally my work is very tight and constrained, I think, just self-doubt and perfectionism acting out!
Just noticed, his cheek is looking here more orange than it is.

Still working, but C&Cs welcome. thanks


10-06-2013, 06:23 AM
He's beautiful, Donna. He glows against that background!

10-06-2013, 08:47 AM
Really well done, Donna, particularly the eye! And I like the looser treatment of the fur.

10-06-2013, 10:16 AM
I love it.


10-06-2013, 01:01 PM
Great. Pam:wave:

10-06-2013, 01:32 PM
Looks great! I like the position of the critter and the dark background, great eyes too.

10-06-2013, 10:03 PM
Thanks all. Seems there's not much to do, then!

10-06-2013, 11:04 PM
This is really beautiful; love your 'loose'.
Take or leave the following: am a little confused by an area where his neck joins his back. I think it is meant to be a rolling of flesh as he bends his neck upwards?


Also like the composition coming from left down into the painting.
Well done!

10-07-2013, 03:46 AM
Good stuff, love the eye! Where did you get the Wallis?


10-07-2013, 06:58 PM
Hi Nell
Yes, correct, good spotting. It's a little unclear in the source pic, too- am working on it!

This is really beautiful; love your 'loose'.
T ake or leave the following: am a little confused by an area where his neck joins his back. I think it is meant to be a rolling of flesh as he bends his neck upwards?


Also like the composition coming from left down into the painting.
Well done!

10-07-2013, 07:01 PM
Hi Nicole
Sadly, like everything else good, I had to order it from the US. I got a Dakota sample pack, which has been fun, a Wallis was in it, but has now got me addicted to papers and boards that I would never have known about otherwise! Smart marketing - I now want more! Wish I could've said, "Queensland" or something....:(. Whoever wants to start a business venture, there might be something in imports to Australia for certain brands of art supplies...suspect the demand is increasing.

Good stuff, love the eye! Where did you get the Wallis?


10-07-2013, 07:31 PM
good to read that you are happy with the support and your materials . :)
- like the way that the head thrusts into the frame , but ,
the body , to me , is very confusing ... ( not the sleek/very fast animal )
... might be better as a head/neck portrait , and less struggle with the rest ...
and with that , don't see a need for those light purple areas in the b/g behind the ears ...

your attention to the markings/texture/detail of the head against the more diffuse/uniform b/g is admirable ! :)


10-07-2013, 07:41 PM
This is beautiful! I really like how tight the face/head is against the mottled background. It took my eye directly there.

10-08-2013, 01:36 PM
This is wonderful! I'm SO curious to know what s/he's looking at :) Beautiful work.

Re: Wallis, FYI, if that's hard for you to get your hands on, I understand that U Art 400 grade is very similar and worth trying.

10-10-2013, 08:28 AM
very beautiful!

10-10-2013, 01:15 PM
That stare is so intense!!!!

10-17-2013, 10:17 PM
Here is update. I am not sure about his spine, whether the light and his spots make it confusing or look like he has a twisted spine. C&Cs welcome.

10-18-2013, 02:17 AM
This is coming along fantastically. Fur & eye are great.

10-18-2013, 06:43 AM
He hasn't got a twisted spine! His anatomy is perfect! I love this cat. His expression is wonderful. That solid little shoulder bulge - I can see exactly how this cat is standing from the curve of his back behind the shoulder, where his weight's balanced, he's caught between flowing motions in a stable pause and that facial expression's wonderful.

I love cats anyway. Get a cat accurate in features and light and I'm happy. Get the anatomy so strong that I see all the unseen limbs and know where his tail is and he's fantastic. Then get the light on him accurate and I'm wowed. Also expression. Nice fur texture too, love the way you've got all the focus on his face and his curious expression. He looks like he's watching something and deciding what to do, knows he's not seen yet, unselfconsciously watching in pure curiosity. This is a strong, healthy cat, unthreatened and calm, not yet in stalking mode, not sure if he wants to hunt, an opportunist catching a glimpse of something worth watching.

Like it's the point he's watching to see where that little creature is going back and forth to its nest rather than actively hunting for it, paying attention to something that's a good thing but not this instant. Oh, the squirrels are mating, and one of them lives in that tree. Good to know. Now where does it vanish into the tree?

Every painting has a story to me, the stronger a cat character is, the clearer the cat's mood and intentions. I love your ocelot.

If you have any more refinements to add, I hope they are extremely subtle details of his face because in my view, he's done and he's finite perfection. Consider putting away your pastels and looking for a good framer. I'm serious. He's wonderful. Ah. One detail. Whisker or two over the near eye that cuts across the dark spots, very subtle, be careful how it goes in, less is more, but even one visible whisker there is the only thing that'd improve him.

Er, I hope you were open to critique suggestions. He's gorgeous and it took long ruminating on him to even see the whisker thing - he stands up well without. His spine, body and spots are fine - the difference between his spine and his markings is very clear to me and his anatomy is spot on. I love how you got looser with him toward the edges of the painting too.

I think the markings are one of his charming points, those decorations aren't there for art nouveau symmetry, they're real camouflage.

10-18-2013, 11:23 AM
Working looser is a challenge, but you are right about the self-doubt/perfectionist obstacle- courage! It shows in your added color and dappled color.

Some very soft handling in distant areas is a remarkable way of focusing on the head- I would encourage that-

10-21-2013, 08:42 PM
Thank you, Elle, Rob Ken.

Rob thank you for your encouraging and detailed post - I am so glad you told his 'story', as what you describe is exactly how I visioned it; he's not a cat sleeping, he's not pouncing or stalking or roaring, (do ocelots 'roar'? :) ) he's in his territory and has noticed something that's good to take note of. Instead of ocelot, I'm thinking of entitling it, "The Watcher", or 'Nightwatch", what do you think, or another suggestion?
I'm quite chuffed that you feel I've done a good job with it, your opinion on WC is valued, I know and you've certainly elevated me today!

It was new to me, using a looser style- also finished it more quickly than my other pieces which normally drag on and on - a combination I think of over-perfectionism and caution and inexperience, so this was fun to do, and I am pleased that I don't have to keep painting so tightly. Perhaps that's a beginner's trait.

You've given me the confidence to try this looser style again. So, I'm so glad you like it. Another eye whisker, yes, spot on! :)

Ken, thank you too for the affirmation of the background and style of working.

BTW, I do have to acknowledge that the source pic is by Annie Griffiths who does a lot of work for National Geographic, and who gave me her kind permission to paint the cat.

PS the reason I didn't post the source pic is because although I usually do, for once I wanted to get away from following a photo exactly but produce an acceptable painting as an interpretation. If I posted the source pic, I know that my painting is not a faithful reproduction, and this would've been commented on. Being more interpretive was my intention. I needed to get away from being so rigid. Getting every spot and stripe right is only important in pet portraits where you have a client who knows the layout of their animal, imo- and I've got that problem currently in another painting!

thanks again