Tortoiseshell describes a coat found almost exclusively in female cats. They are so called because of the similarity to the tortoiseshell material. Also called Torties for short, these cats combine two colors other than white, either closely mixed or in large patches. The colors are often described as red and black, but "red" can instead be orange, yellow, or cream and "black" can instead be chocolate, grey, tabby, or blue. A tortoiseshell cat with the tabby pattern as one of its colors is a Torbie.
Patches is a Tortoiseshell and looks very handsome, don't you think?! When my client submitted her photos, I first was shocked to see what poor quality the reference photo was in. However with some tools of the trade, I brought out the colors and was able to get to work on this portrait. Below you can see the before and after pics.
My client told me that patches loved to sit in the garden and watch the birds. Since the coloring and patterns of this cat are already pretty busy, I chose a very soft background that hints at vegetation, yet is subtle enough not to compete with the pet.
Here you can see a larger image of the finished painting. To learn more about commissioning your own pet portrait click here.