I am currently taking a Pet Portrait diploma with the London Art College in the UK and I am on the last piece of my penultimate set of work.
I thought you'd like to see how it evolved...
...So in the brief we have choices of the types of pieces we can submit. for exercise four I need 3 pieces, one showing 2 head studies placed on a page, the second showing 2 full bodies on a page in an appropriate background and a third piece which could be either an animal logo, card illustrations or animal in surreal setting.
Although I'm not keen on animals in clothes I decide that the surreal animal category might work for me as it asks you to think about an animal's personality and express that in the painting.
I have a British Blue cat - Amber, and she is very typical of her breed. She is very particular and you can only stroke her when she
wants. She likes all of lifes luxuries and knows how to get them!
Definatley she thinks she is royalty.
Now it's amazing where inspiration comes from and how these ideas take hold and develop, so I thought I'd take you on my journey...
On my next trip to the supermarket I found this...
When John (my husband) saw it knew exactly that I had bought it for the bottle and not the contents - I am a marketing department's dream
To me it looked like a royal orb (which is, I guess, what its meant to represent). This had me standing in the drinks isle imagining Amber on her comfy throne surrounded by the trappings of royalty - my mind was off on it's own.
I started to collect reference images and found this in a magazine:
John and I then had a mad half hour deciding what Amber would have in this picture if she were depicting herself (Mel (my tutor)really does have a lot to answer for
We came up with things like the holes in the chair to put her paws through and the orb would probably be a ball of wool...
Here's a closer look at my scribbled sketches or what I was imagining:
Next I was going to London to deliver my pics to the SOFA exhibition, so I went to see the crown jewels for some more inspiration:
I had taken some good shots of Amber outside on the patio so I decided on a very regal looking pose that I thought would work.
Next I started on the chair design. I knew that it needed to be symmetrical, but all that intricate detail made it difficult, so I decided to do just one side, then trace it and turn it over to get the other side exactly the same. You can see the right hand side is darker as this is the side I drew and then traced.
Then I had a little faff around with the orb, sceptre and crown, just to get the feel
...no self respecting cat would be without their wool orb and mouse sceptre
Finally I drew a sketch of Amber on some tracing paper to the size of the seat and placed it on top of the chair to make sure that it works:
I'm planning to do this in oils, so next time I will have transferred it to canvas.
That's where I'm up to so far, next one will be shorter....