Art / Painting

The devil is in the details

So I’m casually painting in my little Moleskine sketchbook. It’s quite small, so it’s more of a doodling book. Just trying to paint from memory and with more suggestion than details.

Ginger cat (6x6 cm)
Ginger cat (6×6 cm)

Here I used some ochre to paint the cat, and then I used some diluted transparent brown to add depth and shadow.

Flower doodle (5 x 5 cm)
Flower doodle (5×5 cm)

In this little doodle I was playing with colours to see what they did together. I tried to get some pink, purple, and greens to harmonize.

Awkward bird (6x6 cm)
Awkward bird (6×6 cm)

At first I didn’t know what kind of bird I was painting. I just started, and chose colours on intuition. The posture and awkward stance suggest a big newborn bird. Then I knew. It’s a newborn phoenix!

It was fun to let myself get carried away by my palette again, but it had been a while since I painted realistically from a reference. So I decided to try and paint my cat Freya, sniffing some kind of plant buds. I didn’t make a sketch before I started painting, I just started and made it up as I went along.

You know what, torties are really hard to paint! Their random pattern of browns, reds, and black is very defining to recognising them. If you would give me a picture of a cat with a face shaped like Freya’s, but without her markings, I would not see that it’s her, I think.

Freya has these little red eyebrows, and a light chin next to her black upper lip and cheeks. One side of her face is more of a mix of different colours than the other. The proportions matter too. It took me a while, and I didn’t get it exactly right. It’s close, though, you can definitely see that I meant to paint her. It’s just that her right eye became too big. And I made the mistake of trying to rub a bit of dark paint away from her neck. I rubbed away a bit of the paper instead! Oh well, when David saw it he said “Hey, she’s drooling!”. Yes, I paint very realistically.

Freya (about 16x21cm)
Freya (about 16x21cm)

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