View Full Version : cornish rex cats
09-30-2002, 02:14 PM
this is a work in progress ---- I'd appreciate any feedback before I finish it up. I'm still planning to bring out some highlights on the white/gray cat's face and on the black cat etc.
thanks for looking!
09-30-2002, 02:16 PM
forgot to say:
it's 14x18 pastel on canson medium tint paper.
09-30-2002, 02:30 PM
I think these cats are quite wonderful. They are such gorgeous shapes, I love the way their tails curve and overlap each other.
However, would you just try something for me? Try cropping this picture, right up close to the cats, and eliminate the room in the background. You could drop a mat down on the picture, and peryhaps try putting some torn paper shapes over the background, just to see how it would look without the room.
You see, to my way of thinking, there is no relationship, in terms of composition, between the shapes in the background, and the shapes in the foreground. The foreground is a wonderful symphony of flowing curves - the cats' backs, their tails, their overall shapes, all in harmony ..... while the background has some rectangles, squares,straight lines and angles - and shapes of furniture - none of which relate in any way to the wonderful foreground shapes. It's like two different songs being played at the same time!!
If you turn your picture upside down, and just look at the SHAPES you have painted, rather than the separate items of cats/furniture/room, you might start to see what I mean. I hope so. It isn't always an easy concept to put across.
do visit my ebay page and auctions (http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/jackie4art/.)
visit my website which has a “troubleshooter” page of helpful pastel tips and hints (http://www.jackiesimmonds.co.uk)
Also see my posts in The Artists Marketplace here at WC!
09-30-2002, 03:48 PM
I'm starting to develop a fascination for this cat breed after seeing your work. I'm not a cat person really, but these are really interesting animals, and you do a wonderful job of painting them.
09-30-2002, 06:15 PM
Yup...I'm right there with maverick..I'm crazy about this breed and I'm crazy about your paintings of them! Another wonderful painting Cheryl!
09-30-2002, 06:25 PM
thanks Maverick --
thanks Jackie!! I can't believe I didn't notice that --- you're so right!
I don't usually (ok, never) make rooms behind my portrait subjects but I've been studying about classic compositions and how one thing they all have in common is a "way out" of the painting.... so I decided to try my first door and window in the background.
take a look and see if this is more in harmony
09-30-2002, 06:25 PM
I love your cats! The look it is giving the observer is just great. And the curves and colors are wonderful. Jackie mentioned about the background, and I think she has a good point, however, when I first looked at it I was reminded of a picture one might see in a children's book and the background added a touch of charm to the piece. I feel it gives depth and actually makes me want to go explore the room. A touch of mystery maybe? I think it, the background, could use a little finishing up, but I rather enjoy the feel of it. And I respect Jackie's professional opinion to the nth degree, so you may want to pay more heed to what she says than to my observance.
09-30-2002, 07:43 PM
I love this piece. I do like the second pic as it does compliment the cats more with the rounded curves in the background. I also agree that if cropped it would look great to.
It adds an element of interest with the background in it. Very well done :)
09-30-2002, 07:55 PM
Your cats look wonderful... looking very good :D
10-01-2002, 04:05 AM
Yes, the second picture is a great improvement, I really like the way you have curved the carpet!
However, what I am about to say now is PERSONAL PREFERENCE, not constructive criticism. It is important to make this distinction, because this is YOUR picture, not mine.
I find the room a bit of a distraction, and the difference in scale between the animals, and the furniture, bothers me. I'd would still like to see it cropped down, particularly as the cat on the left is all ready cropped, right up against the frame.
In terms of your comment that you wer trying to create a way out of the painting, it might be fun to try this.
Photocopy your painting (if you can). Then, working over the background, try a different way to help the eye leave the picture, for instance, putting the cats on a sofa, against some cushions. The edges of the cushions could be curving forms, to echo the curves of the cats. And because these "edges" could run across the image, or come in from the topmost edge, for instance, your eye could be led out of the picture along these lines. Making a "way out of a picture" can be as subtle as this - a line which touches the edge of the rectangle draws the eye along to the edge ... and out of the picture!
If you don't want to try this, and are happy with your room, whch certainly takes me BACK into the space behind the cats -that's fine - as I said before, it is YOUR picture, and you have to be happy with it. Everything above is simply my opinion, which may differ from someone else's opinion.
10-01-2002, 03:16 PM
I appreciate all of the great comments----
I wish I could crop it but I'm at the end of my deadline and it Has to be this size...... so even though I agree, I'm probably not going to change it. The client loves it. It's almost done now - I'll repost it when finished.
on another note -- If you paint realistically, don't show me your website.
- I spent some time browsing through the site of susan lyons and scott burdick (the wetcanvas leader) and now I'm THOROUGHLY depressed.
I usually know better but couldn't help it.
I should have gone to art school.
10-01-2002, 04:22 PM
Wow! That's impressive.
10-01-2002, 05:23 PM
Ah, Cheryl, don't be depressed! There are some wonderful school-taught artists out there, and there are tons more who were not. I think the ones who are self taught tend to have a very fresh, wonderful way when looking at something. The only time it would be nice to have schooling in art is to avoid reinventing the wheel, such as tricks of the trade, colors, or composition. Things like that. But self taught artists do, in the end, learn all that.
Your art is lovely and refreshing. It is just downright charming. So get out there and show us some more cat pastels. And the second picture you posted of your work looks wonderful.
10-01-2002, 06:58 PM
Cheryl I would like to say I am very fond of the background and think the piece is much stronger with it.
I am also curious why someone would want a persons eye to leave the drawing. "?" Considering most poeple only spend a few seconds looking at a piece, I would make every attempt to hold there interest as long as I can.
Consider this when feeling bad about not having a FORMAL art education. Student loans suck! Feel good about yourself your doing a wonderful job.
10-01-2002, 11:43 PM
I absolutely adore your cats....makes me want to own one! You really have a way of conveying their personalities.
I too find the background distracting because of the proportions...to me the room has a doll house like quality with the cats sitting on a window ledge in front of it....but I also understand commission painting!! Just finished one!!
I'm also wondering about..."a way out of the canvas"...since I have no formal education...clue me in on that one!
"if it weren't for ignorance....I'd learn nothing"
10-02-2002, 12:29 AM
[i]Consider this when feeling bad about not having a FORMAL art education. Student loans suck! [/B]
Thanks to all of you, I AM feeling better now. I think I'll go paint . . .
Oh and now that I reconsider the "way out" theory, I think Jackie's right. It doesn't have to be so OBVIOUS. :)
The book I was studying ("Composition In Art," Henry Rankin Poore) mentioned that you need a way IN (zigzags or curves that draw your eye into the painting) you also need to provide a way Out to avoid the eye leaving on it's own as soon as it is done viewing the principal subject-- so you should direct it by way of curves or zigzags away from the center to an exit. BUT rethinking it I see that the examples in the book are much less noticeable than my door and window.
ah well --- everything is a learning experience.
and thanks again - you're all a great help.
10-02-2002, 02:38 AM
Please don't beat yourself up about having no formal art education. It doesn't matter one jot. I went to an art school for four years, and learned HARDLY ANYTHING. At the end of that period, all I had done was perhaps learn a little about drawing from the one good tutor I had there, the rest were dreadful. After that, I started to teach myself to paint. Everything I know about colour, tone, composition, techniques - I learned from books, and experience, mostly from books. Then I was asked to write a book on pastels, my first one, and boy, did I learn then. I had to research everything about painting so that the information I put across was clear enough for other people to understand!
I too get depressed, when I look at the work of Cassat, Degas, Monet, Cezanne etc. Also when I look at other contemporary artists whose work I really admire, here in the UK. However, that doesn't mean I stop looking. I feel it is important to keep on looking at work which is better than my own, because I want to keep on learning.
I reckon if you stop worrying about your ability to improve, and get stuck in a rut happy with what you are doing, that is very unhealthy.
So - don't worry about lack of education - go out and educate yourself, and at the same time, just do what you do to the best of your ability. You will improve all the time, it is inevitable.
Good luck, and enjoy travelling down the road of the painter,
10-02-2002, 08:49 AM
*wiping coffee off my screen and keyboard* These cats are gorgeous. The look on the face in the front is classic. WOW, I would sell my soul to make cats like this. Purrrrrrrrrfect :cat:
10-02-2002, 02:27 PM
Jackie - - thanks SO much for the insight. :)
TeAnne --- I LOVE your flattery.
All of you make this so much more fun.
so here it is and I think I'm done.
I should be - - - I need to get going on my next portrait, and BTW it's going to be TWO human girls! EEEEk. I've done a few people in the last couple of years but never for money. I hadn't gotten up the courage to actually offer human portraits.
But now I've gone and taken this job so --- here we go.
It's always been my ultimate goal so I guess it's time to TRY IT.
here's the kitty portrait
10-05-2002, 09:38 PM
Well I was delayed in shipping the cats and the more I looked at it, the more it bothered me. It looked so washed out.
So I did a little more . . . and now I'm happy with it.
here it is
10-17-2002, 05:26 AM
We to have one at the moment and are about to pick up the other from the breeder soon, they are such sculptor looking animals.
you have given me the incentive to paint them but as to a setting hmmmm I think it will require a MarkL twist
10-17-2002, 05:46 AM
Way to go CE!!
This turned out GReat!!!! Love the lighting , Im sure the buyer will be immensely pleased!
10-17-2002, 01:57 PM
Thanks for commenting ---
I shipped it and they love it.
That was one that I wasn't quite happy with all the way through, but it's like that sometime when doing things according to other people's tastes. :)
Congratulations on your new kitty-to-be MarkL --
I've never had a cornish rex, but I hear they're somewhat similar to my Devon Rex.....
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