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Tortoiseshell cat painting

tortoiseshell cat painting

Meet Maisie, my new tortoiseshell cat painting. Maisie’s reference image was donated by a kind Facebook follower to allow me to create a downloadable art tutorial (coming very soon so do subscribe to receive news directly in your inbox)

Anyway, here are a few in progress shots with descriptions of how her cat portrait was created.


I used anthracite pastelmat for this piece simply because the white graphite pencil would show up better to produce a line drawing for the tutorial. Luckily I think the anthracite is one of the best colours to use it takes many more layers of pastel so is ideal for my type of work. I tend to add many, many layers to build up the fur like appearance. As this was a tutorial I also used just one brand of pastel pencils – Derwents for this one.


Maisie’s original reference showed a floral settee so I decided to simplify it for the purposes of the tutorial and chose bright eye-catching colours keeping them plain so Maisie was the main focus.


As you can see, as ever I jumped about all over the place. This did make my tutorial notes quite complicated to keep up with so I swapped to a voice recorder otherwise I would have been writing notes for weeks!

I started work as ever with the eyes and will include a detailed section in the tutorial on how I create them to ensure they look glassy and shiny.


Next I began work on the face. Maisie has fabulous colours and I loved using the pinks and peaches to create the soft colours of her face.


Here you can see how the piece is coming together and the fact that you don’t need to be artistically organised to work, you can be like me – all over the place!


A lot further on, as you can see my artwork is made up of many layers but it isn’t complicated to create, my tutorials are really very easy to follow so this is an ideal opportunity for any potential pet portrait artist to practice with pastels before diving into it full time.

tortoiseshell cat painting

And finally Maisie is done. Let me know what you think! If you are interested in this as a downloadable tutorial don’t forget to subscribe.

You can see some of my cat portraits in the gallery or more cat art work in progress.

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