For those of you who don't know I am gradually filling one of my studio walls with my 100 Little Portrait Project a series of 6" x 6" portrait oil paintings on canvas portraits. Here are a few of the portraits commissioned before Christmas. I work from photos e-mailed to me, or from photos I take, if the subject comes to my studio on my "open to the public" days.
But so far, to my surprise, almost every painting commissioned is as a surprise gift for a loved one. Do you know that goes for my large portraits, too? They are almost always a gift!
- Alert! Mini Portrait of a Big Bear (christinemontagueart.wordpress.com)
- Pet Portrait is No. 14 of 100 Little Portrait Paintings (100littleportraits.wordpress.com)
- New Little Portrait Painting No. 12. Two Year Old Toddler. (100littleportraits.wordpress.com)
Imagine this big Main Coon cat greeting you in the hallway when you get home or on the big wall at the stair landing! Well loved by all that visit my studio - even by those who aren't cat fans (as one woman stated "Imagine if it was a horse!") this cat would be a unique art work for the home. Painting #2 in the Giant Cat Series. 60" high by 40" wide. Black and white oil painting with gold and silver oil paint and oil stick. Next up - "Who's for Dinner" - the 3rd in the series is almost finished too.
A new giant cat is emerging from the dark in my latest oil and oil stick painting - seen here in my studio at the Williams Mill.
The Colour Shaper tool is again proving useful to both add and remove paint creating great fur texture. Read all about the Forsaline & Starr Colour Shaper & how to use it here.
I didn't want to leave the studio today until I finished this painting - I was so anxious to see it completed. Although I adore painting in oils, drawing was my first love, and so, it was exciting for me to both draw (oil sticks) & paint (oils) in this art work. This piece also combines my love of portraits, my love of animals and my love of black (I am only painting in black until they invent something darker). Equally as fulfilling was my use, for the first time, of silver oil paint as my "white" - although its reflective values proved a little trickier to photograph. My iphone camera, couldn't quite do the trick.
Do you know that many artists give a lot of thought to the placement & appearance of their signature on their paintings? Well, I am one of those artists. This new work called for a different look to my signature. Traditionally, on my carefully rendered, realistic paintings, I carefully print my full name in block lettering. I don't like my signature to distract from the work, and even will use more than one colour to print it so that the signature flows with the work. This painting called for something more expressive. Artist Carmen Hickson of www.theredpigstudio.com lent me a nifty colour pushing brush* ( a rubber chisel tip instead of bristles). It was perfect for carving out a cursive signature with values that suited the painting.
By the way, "Big Cat Painting" is not the official title of the painting...
* I don't know the official name of these rubber tipped brushes, and tried unsuccessfully to google them for this post. My son, who used to work at Curry's Art Supplies, informed me they weren't big sellers, but I sure found it terrific to use. Do you know what this type of brush is called? I did however find this new neat little cleaning gadget while trying to find the rubber brush name https://www.currys.com/catalogpc.htm?Category=A021B006823&Source=Search. I could have used this when washing piles of black oil paint out of about 8 brushes this evening :D
Yesterday I mentioned I used Tri-Art's sludge as the preliminary step (the canvas was already gessoed in white) to starting this 60" x 48" cat painting. I was quite enamoured of the taupe, neutral colour of the sludge, and began the day by ensuring areas had the sludge show through. This was not my original vision for the painting. Sometimes it pays to go with one's instincts, but in this case it was keeping me from connecting with the portrait. If I don't fall in love with the face, I know something is wrong.
So back to the plan - Black and silver oil paint for this silver tabby. What appears white in this painting, or light gray is actually silver. The painting is not done yet. But the concept that one side of the cat disappears into the darkness, and the other side is awash in silver light - is becoming clearer.
This oil painting incorporates the use of oil sticks as well as oil paints.