Cat Portrait Commission - Cooper

Photo of Cooper checking out his portrait


I just received an email from my client who has send me a photo of Cooper admiring his portrait. I just love it and had to share ~

I love getting photos of people holding their portraits like Eshal for example, but a furry friend admiring his portrait has been a first.

Cat Portrait in Oil - Cooper


Update as of April 20

The painting has dried to the touch, has been signed and photographed. I am really happy how it turned out and hope that my client will like it as well.

Cat Portrait in Oil - Cooper

I am adding some detail shots, so you get an idea of the dimension and colors used. If you click on them you are taken to my Flckr page where there is an even larger size.

Cat Portrait in Oil - Cooper

The flowers were kept on the loose side so that they compliment, yet not take away the focus from the cat.

Cooper Work in Progress 3

Update as of April12

Color has been applied and for the time being all I am concerned with is to hit the colors as close as I can to my reference photo. I am using the beige ground as a color and built the fur up with tones of brown, orange and even blue. I decided against the teal background and went with a blue-green instead. I think it works better.There will be a lot of texture in the cat's fur so I need to be careful with the flowers. They need to stay smooth and rather light looking to offer a nice balance.

Cooper Work in Progress 2

At this stage I continued laying in the flowers in shades of gray. All I am looking for is abstract shapes of light and dark, keeping it down to no more than 3 shades of grey, black ans white.

Cooper Starting the Cat Portrait

Update as of April 7

This kitty's name is Cooper. His family calls him "Coops". He belongs to Sherri and Mark Straker, who live in the town of Farnum, County of Surrey, in England. Coops was adopted from a shelter in England in 2004 as an orphaned kitten. He is an "only pet" and pretty much rules the house. He has a Prawn with breakfast every morning and there is a family of little foxes in the back garden that he loves to watch.

I started the portrait by applying a beige colored gesso, then sketched in the contours and major markings of the cat using a light pencil. Using only white, three values of grey and black, I tried to make sense of all that fur by squinting and blocking in areas. I marked the whiskers with a heavy white, but that will get adjusted in later layers.


April 6

Yesterday I posted my reference photo for a new portrait commission on my Pet Portraits Blog. I wanted to do something more exciting than just another head shot, so I set out to create a nicer setting in photo shop. When I first set eye on my reference photo I was reminded of the stray cats of Tehran, where I used to live as a teen.

At one point I was allowed to keep one of these strays similar to Cooper's coloring. That cat would sit at the window and peek out into the garden, where my Persian grandpa had planted lots of flowers. This gave me the idea to have Cooper gaze out from a window, which was framed by flowers.

Reference Photo

I have to say I love Photoshop, because it allows the user to create different settings around an image via layers in very little time. I noticed a hint of blue in the yellow eyes of the cat and wanted to enhance it by adding the bluish background. Since the cat is obviously looking rather intently at something, I wanted to hint at it sitting at a window sill looking out. The added flowers bring more color to the painting, act as a visual guide by framing the cats head and just make the whole painting more interesting. So I submitted my idea to my client and waited for approval. Well it's a go and pretty soon updates on this painting will follow as well.

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