Meet Polly, well Princess Polly rather! Every now and then you get a curve ball thrown at you, and it’s great fun to take up the challenge!
I was commissioned to create secret custom cat portraits of Polly and it turned into something a little quirky. I love quirky so I found this great fun to do.
Polly’s reference photo showed her sat in a very unusual position, which apparently isn’t unusual for her. (I’ve since discovered my sister’s cat also likes to sit like this!) She was also sat on her human Dad’s lap which didn’t make for a good portrait to be honest, but I got to put her into the finest Chesterfield chair going! Look at the shine on it!
I also got to use the cherry blossom panpastel which has sat sadly unused since the beginning of time so I was truly happy to slap it on all over that fabulous chair! It took quite a while to build up the layers and add all the highlights and shadows to give the plump shape to the chair but it really was a challenge I enjoyed. Making it looked shaped was very time consuming but as it started to take form I knew I’d cracked the formula.
I used stabilo pastel pencils for the highlights and shadows, they seemed to be in the correct shades and also glided on top of the panpastel. By contrast the lovely pale grey and blue cushion was lovely to add, it really stood out after all the lovely cherry red. I used sticks and pastel pencils for the cushion (sennelier, pitts and stabilos)
So I completed the chair and most of the cushion before moving onto Poppy herself. I’m pretty sure she is what is known as a tuxedo cat, they have white bibs on underneath a black tuxedo jacket, hence the name. I’ve had the pleasure of creating a few custom cat portraits of tuxedos and they are all very pretty kitties. I blocked in the darker parts of Polly’s fur using faber sticks, they are quite rich and creamy but also square so you can get into some quite tight corners.
Most of Polly was complete by this stage and her owner asked if she could have a quirky crown added. Reading between the lines I think Polly may be a little spoiled and adored with her owners treating her like a princess!
Mostly her portrait was complete and it took a bit of fiddling to add the crown after having adding some very dark pastel for the ears underneath however the sennelier pastels undertook the task and the yellow easily covered the black so I was pretty relieved! Polly had definitely started to look more regal!
And finally, with her paws in place Princess Polly was ready to be framed and to start her journey off to her owners. I absolutely loved creating this unusual commission, it really was fun to do something a little non standard for a change. As they say though, a change is as good as a rest and now it’s back to more traditional custom cat portraits!
You can see more Cat Portraits in my gallery and how my Ginger cat portraits was created by reading this post. If you are interested in making a commission, why not read my Customer reviews to see what previous clients say!
Behind the scenes
So here is my new exhibition stand, well some of it! I think I managed to get bargain of the century after travelling down south to buy a job lot of clip panel display boards and ended up with over 70 of them! I am now undertaking the task of recolouring them to fit in with my Guild but they were in perfect condition and after a trial run at the RHS Malvern Spring show, they were very successful too!!! What do you think? They are pretty light, I can put them up on my own and came with built in cupboards so I could hide all my messy stuff away from potential clients! Next outing will be the Three Counties Dog show so keep your eyes open for some more shots.