View Full Version : Kitty WIP

11-14-2006, 09:28 PM
Hi Everyone,
Well I have made a start on my next project, I will be taking photos as I go and hopefully I can get here enough to upload my progress. I hope you can be patient with me! This WIP will also be uploaded in the Animal Forum.

I have chosen a Kitty from the RL which is in fact in colour, but I really liked the play of shadows and light so I have changed it to black and white.


I will be using Faber-Castell Pitt Pastels - dark grey, black, off-white along with Generals charcoal white. To begin I print out the image in black and white on A4 - size is 16x21cm and cut it out. I then fold it in half several times, and draw some grid lines on it. I will use this as my base for my grid. I have selected a half sheet of Steel Grey Canson MiTientes, smoothside. I draw up my grid twice the size of my printout, so 32x42cm.


I prefer to use grids because I am damn fussy, lol! I can draw but it annoys the hell out of me if I can't get things right, so I rely on the trusty grids. For smaller work I trace so proportions are correct from the start. As I go along I may redraw some areas if it doesn't look right. I have used the off-white pencil to draw it up.

This is where I am at now, this was yesterdays progress. Hope to do some more soon ....

11-14-2006, 10:48 PM
i am really looking forward to this and reading your thoughts about the process too ... i for one really really appreciate your doing a wip !!

Piper Ballou
11-14-2006, 11:03 PM
Holley, this is going to be great watching this WIP.....I use grids a lot too

Mary Brigid
11-15-2006, 05:39 AM
Thank you Holley for doing this. I would love to be able to do an animal portrait but I am not good at drawing. This gridding process could be the answer to my problems. I will enjoy Watching your WIP Holley.
Mary Brigid

Charles Perera
11-15-2006, 06:44 PM
Your are wonderful. Thanks for giving all those details of how you make the grid. It is useful to know how great artists work and those tips help us a lot.


Paula Ford
11-15-2006, 08:10 PM
Pulling up a chair and popping popcorn!


11-15-2006, 09:09 PM
Thanks Holley, I will be joining you here as well.....

I also use the grids, mainly from my dressmaking/patternmaking experience, but I am damn fussy too, lol..... I find if the drawing is off, then so will the painting be...

I am looking forwards to your progress.....

Thanks , Netty .

11-16-2006, 08:28 PM
Wow Holley, my chair is pulled up alongside of Paula's -- I've brought some Ginger Beer if anyone wants any. This is magic Holley -- it's great to see how you are doing your gridding. :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

Val. :wave:

bruce johnson
11-16-2006, 08:49 PM
Hi Holley:wave:

I'll be in this as well.. Hey Val pass me a beer... oh its ginger beer... never mind :lol: :lol:

11-16-2006, 10:42 PM
Hi, thanks everyone for your interest in my work!!!

For larger work like this one I work from my loungeroom wall. I don't like using easels as they are bulky. My spareroom houses my paintings but all my work is done in my loungeroom either on the wall or at the computer desk. If I didn't work this way I probably wouldn't get anything done! My kids rule me!!!

At the start of all my projects I tend to struggle and doubt myself. It's only when things start coming together that I begin to feel better about it. I find I stumble my way through things and I learn as I go.

I should also say that I am very light handed with my work which is probably why Canson works for me. I only tend to apply thicker once areas are established.

To start with I have decided to do the background and work from dark to light, and from left to right. It's easier to work ontop of the background rather than add it last. I begin by colouring a layer or 2 of grey and rubbing it in, then working in some black and a little off-white. I also begin shading in some of the dark areas of the kitty's ear and head and underneath him, and have added some off-white to his ear.


This second image shows that I have worked underneath the kitty some and added some more grey to the top of his head. I have also started to introduce some black into the ear area.


If I am having trouble with an area I just move onto somewhere else and go back to it later. I like to work an area at a time, but I have never completely finished a certain area until the painting is finished because I see something new each time I work on it.

These next two images show how I have worked over and over again on the same areas. I am building things up and trying to get a likeness to the ref. I apply my pencils just like fur, stroke after stroke.


This image shows where I am at now. I have started to move on to other areas by creating the shadows with the grey. I always work from medium to dark and medium to light.


Hope to share some more progress soon ....:cat:

11-17-2006, 01:35 AM
to do this cat in his sideways position would be crazy for me !! ... i'd be tempted to turn him/her upright ...:lol: ... which i *know* defeats the purpose of *drawing/painting what you see* !!! ... i do know however that this is gonna be one fabulous piece and i am truly appreciating all your effort in giving us this wip ... you're a treasure !! ... and i hope i can retain all the info !!!

Paula Ford
11-17-2006, 05:35 AM
to do this cat in his sideways position would be crazy for me !! ... i'd be tempted to turn him/her upright ... ...

LOL...me too!!


Alachua Artist
11-17-2006, 08:45 AM
oh I just LOVE these - to watch the painting come to life as you work the sections and textures with the pastels. This effect is even stronger since the grid is in the background - great progress.


Morris T. Howard
11-18-2006, 03:28 PM
Hi Holley,

Thanks for sharing your process. I like the use of the grid (something I would like to try). You draw very beautifully.:) :thumbsup:


Mary Brigid
11-19-2006, 11:30 AM
this is going great Holley. I will be back
Mary Brigid

11-20-2006, 12:00 AM
Thanks Violet, Paula, Alachua Artist, Morris and Mary for commenting :)

I have finally managed to get a little bit more work done.
Sure is hot today so we are staying indoors in the cool house which means I can progress some more.

This image shows that I have worked on the eye some more and started adding more shadows to the mouth and below the kitty.


In these photos you can see how I have worked up the dark on the shadows below the kitty and worked on adding some lighter fur.


From here I was beginning to tire of working on the bottom, so I thought I would move up to the top ear and work my way across. First I layed down some grey shadows and then worked in some off-white.


At this stage I have used very minimal white. I find it a real treat to add it near the end as it seems to make the painting pop a bit more.
This is my progress so far, hope to share some more soon!

Paula Ford
11-20-2006, 08:50 AM
It just looks so *perfect*...how do you do that!!!


11-20-2006, 11:20 AM
Looking great, Holley, as always, I do enjoy your kitty's

11-20-2006, 06:42 PM
Thank you Paula and Suzi, hope to post some more progress real soon!

Bhavana Vijay
11-21-2006, 12:33 AM
Incredible as always Holley! Will be wathcing!

11-27-2006, 06:45 PM
I am finally back to show some new updates.
Life has kept me busy in other ways lately so artwork has been rather slow.

The following two photos show how I have worked more on the top of the kitty.
I have introduced more white into my work.
I really hope to get back here soon to show final photos.


11-27-2006, 07:53 PM
One of the reasons I, like so many others here at WC enjoy your work is that your animals simply look "pettable". This is no exception, you have caught the look of soft fur, begging to be touchedl Someday, maybe I will get there, it worked with the graphite, but I have a looooooong way to go when working in color! I appreciate your WIP's as, watching you and Wendy work, maybe I will learn what it takes to get that look. Who knows? Maybe in a hundred years or so . . . . . . . . .

11-28-2006, 01:51 AM
amazing as always ... a joy to watch ... again, you are an inspiration ... can't say that enough ...

12-01-2006, 12:25 AM
Thank you Suzi and Violet!
At last I have finally finished!!
This has been a fairly slow project for me and I am so ready to move on now.

I continued to work on the top right hand corner of the kitty in the same manner as before, working areas over and over again until they sort of look right. I like to stand back and look at my work throughout and I often rework areas. Whiskers are added at the end. I'd like to say it is finished but I can a see a few things here I might just tweak a bit, but overall this is the final piece ...lol!:D

Thank you everyone who has followed my work in progress.
Hope to share something new again sometime soon. :cat:

12-01-2006, 01:36 AM
looks fantastic to me !! .... every hair in its place ... perfection .... i'm looking forward to your next one ... !!!

12-01-2006, 04:43 PM
Wonderful WIP, great results.

12-02-2006, 08:18 AM
What a treat. :clap: Absolutely BEAUTIFUL once again!!!! I am a real fan of your work...great WIP and thank you so much for sharing.:clap: :clap: :clap:

12-02-2006, 05:19 PM
Thanks so much Violet, TJ and Lori. I really appreciate your comments!
I am already working on something new, hope to share it soon :)

12-02-2006, 05:19 PM
Wonderful!! Baeutiful and a great WIP. You make it look so easy!

12-03-2006, 10:37 AM
Usually I am not a great fan of pet portraits, but you have done a marvellous job on this one. Such detail. Like the colours as well.

12-03-2006, 12:03 PM
Holley, a beautiful painting, I especially like the eyes, they are fantastic.