Giving a painting as a gift is always risky unless you REALLY know the recipient's taste in art. Today this painting is headed to Indianapolis where our younger son lives. We think he'll be surprised with the painting, which is for his birthday today. Duke is on the right, and Daisy is the partially cross eyed Siamese mix on the left.
Getting the right photo to work from for pets is often challenging. Once I have a good photo and a good drawing, the painting is fairly simple to do. Paint the shapes with the right values and establish the proper edge for the shape. Miskit fur edges that are too hard to paint around, and don't paint any 'fur' hairs until the very end, painting them sparingly only where needed to suggest the softness of the fur. Color choices are not nearly as critical as getting the correct values of lights and darks. In fact, the purple, coral, orange, blues, and teal were fun to use for shadows.
My husband was surprised when I started this painting on Friday night. He asked when I'd get it done. Actual painting time was under three and a half hours, but the drawing and miskiting time took longer than that. If I count the time it took to get the right photos, too, the preparation time before putting paint in my brush is more than double the painting time. For me, the preparation, planning, and drawing are critical for a good painting, and I enjoy all the planning just as much as I love the painting time.
Painting size is approximately 17 x 22", making the cats life size. Happy birthday, MATT!