So first, we drew le chat reduced to its lumpy, adorable snowman-like proportions:
Then I found an image of a really cuuuuute kitty on the internets:
She is of course la Lizzie Cosette of the marmeladegypsy blog. I drew Lizzie in snowman-esq style, just to rough out her shape:
I filled in a few shadows, to familiarize myself with her markings and stuff..
…and then I traced the bare outlines of that sketch onto watercolor paper:
The paints that I’ll be using for most of the color in this kitty portrait are grey (Davy’s Gray in the tube) and my trusty ancient Grumbacher watercolors:
I will mix these colors right on my brush, getting various shades of brownish-grey, blackish-grey, and rusty-grey as needed, and for the most part I’m going to let the pint and the water do what it wants to do:
I do love the chalky texture of these paints.
I am going to start with the face because if I don’t get the face right I will trash the whole thing and start over. So I will work quickly to get some black markings in on top of wet brownish-grey:
I painted the eyes in and, before the paint got too dry…
…I laid in some black around the eye, but I didn’t let it bleed as much as before because bleeding colors is OK for getting a nice effect for fur, but this is not fur:
For the inside of Miss Lizzie’s ear, I used a very pale blueish-grey:
…and then I went back with my paint brush dipped in clear water to “pick up” the paint. I do this because I want a very delicate shading effect here, and subtracting paint is a good way to make an area look outlined, but painterly:
OK, I think I got the face alright, so now I’m going to start painting the fur. Lizzie is a tabby tuxedo, so to give shade to her white bits I use a very watery light blue wash. I just like the look of a very light blue shadow to indicate whiteness:
And, again, I’m going to work wet-in-wet, that is, I’m going to dab some brown and black and grey into the very wet blue wash, to get a nice watercolor effect:
All that, above, is done before any of the paint has a chance to dry. I’m not going to over-do the fur…I’m going to leave the body impressionistic. But I am going to get a lot of detail in the punim because she is soooooo cute:
I’m not painting the whiskers — I don’t have a brush fine enough and also, I like the look of pencil here:
And now I check it against my reference photo. It looks to me that I placed Lizzie at slightly the wrong angle on the paper; she’s leaning too far to the right. To correct that, all I have to do is crop the paper:
That’s better. Also, I notice that I’ve made one ear too pointy, so I go back and add some round-ness:
And I’m going to add a sliver of height to her darling little head between them adorable ears:
And I have to add some white paint over some brownish-grey stuff I painted on her cheek (I erased the penciled-in whiskers on that side before I painted, FYI):
Then I beef up her Cleopatra eye liner:
Add the whiskers back in:
Smooch, smooch, smooch. I love kitties.