ABOVE: "The Stacks (in process)" and BELOW, "The Stacks (finished)." 10" x 14", acrylic on canvasboard, depicting a calico cat among the inventory of a used book store, $599. Inquiries (including booking pet portraits, from miniature size [4" x 4"] to larger than life) may always come to me.
If you recall yesterday's post, I was concerned that the rear shelves of books detracted from the cat. The first thing I did was paint them over, using a wide brush and muted versions of the foreground colors. Then continuing with a wide brush, I added vaguer suggestions of titles and shadows, leaving all the detail work in the immediate foreground. I was careful, too, not to paint the shadows in the shelving as dark as the cat's markings - this creates some depth to the shelves and allows the cat to sit in a different plane that appears as though it is closer to the viewer.
Several readers asked about placing the focal point in the center of the painting, reminding me of the unspoken rule: Never put anything smack dab in the middle of your composition. Well, yes, that is usually true, but like any rule, there are instances when it can be broken successfully. In this case, there are enough verticals and horizontals and overall patterning that allows me to carry it off. It doesn't always work that way!
I also received numerous creative and wonderful title suggestions, including one for my next "cat in bookstore" painting. The overall consensus was for "The Stacks," however, so "The Stacks" it is. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts with me.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my prayers are with all touched by the earthquakes in Haiti. Earlier this week our community also suffered the tragic loss of three teens in a car accident. Real tragedy is everywhere, unfortunately within easy reach. Compassion abounds at these moments, but the true test will be sustaining it once the shock wears off.
I remain committed to supporting animal welfare, and will spend time in the coming days researching an appropriate cause for Haitian (animal) relief. I've also made appointments for my husband and I to donate blood, and am encouraging friends and family to do the same (you can visit the Red Cross' website and find a blood drive in your area). And like everyone else, I am praying for the healing to begin.
It sounds trivial under these circumstances, but thanks, as always, for looking at - and sharing - my artwork. Wishing you a SAFE weekend counting your many blessings,
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COMMISSION A PET PORTRAIT: contact me
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