This cat pet portrait is of my own cat Cassie whom I had for over 16 years. I had not attempted her whilst still alive due to the complexities of her tortoiseshell fur which I am now confident in doing!
When creating a cat portrait, or any animal portrait, I always begin with the eyes. I feel that if you can get the soul in the eyes of a cat in its pet portrait then the hard work is already there.
To create the complex fur of my cat, I began with a pale warm creamy undertone all over. This creates a uniform tone to gradually build up layers to the black fur. Tortoiseshell cats generally have cream fur but only the tips of the hairs are stronger colours. Having knowledge of fur structure and types really helps when creating a cat pet portrait. Try lifting the fur on your pet and really studying it!! I practised several combinations using different browns, reds, yellows and oranges to get the right tones of the ginger fur and pale brown colours. Knowing your colours, which will blend together, and always testing first on a piece of scrap paper is vital. The fine white whiskers and fur is carefully indented into the paper first before adding colour over. This preserves the white of the paper showing through.
Knowing my cat inside out it took several attempts and many pieces of scrap paper with practice sections on. To create a pet portrait takes a great deal of effort ( sometimes several efforts) as I want your cat portrait or pet portrait to be something that I would be proud to own myself!