Painting Charlie

A Cat Painting In Progress

Charlie On Red  Charlie
20×16 inch acrylic painting on canvas

This is the finished portrait of Charlie. It’s a  20×16 acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas. Read about the process below or you can watch the painting in progress as a slide show.

Here’s how it was painted….

The Photo

The photo of Charlie gazing out of the window. This is the expression I want to capture.

This is the photo I took of Charlie gazing out of the window.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of Painting Charlie

I’ve sketched him on to the canvas and added the first bits of the under painting. His whiskers have blue and violet as a base coat and I’ve started to fill out some of the darks and added some pinks to his ears, nose and mouth.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of Painting Charlie

 I’m using Carmine Red and Jenkins Green to make a rich, dark colour for the background, applying that roughly with a large brush and letting the colours mix on the canvas. It will take many layers before the red gets as dark as I want it to be. I’ve started blocking in his markings too.

Stage 3

Stage 3 of Painting Charlie

I’m using Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber for his body and various oranges and golds along with the brown to emphasize his markings. I’ve worked on his nose in particular, developing that lovely pinky orange colour of his nose leather and the blue highlights in the fur just above his nose.

Stage 4 with the photo next to the easel

The painting on the easel with the photo of Charlie that I’m using for a reference.

Stage 4

Stage 4 of Painting Charlie

I’m working on the details in his muzzle, putting in the fur on his face and the pinks in his skin around his nose and mouth where the fur is very fine. Blues will emphasise the shine in his fur around his mouth. The modeling on his nose has been finished.

Stage 5

Stage 5 of Painting Charlie

Working on his body now. I want a suggestion of spots but without too much detail as most of his body is in shadow. Fine tuning the fur on his face and painting his ears with blues and pinks.

Stage 6

Stage 6 of Painting Charlie

The fur on his face gets it’s final layer of colour and tone.

A close up of stage 6 of the painting.

I’m starting on those wonderful green eyes. The first layers are quite green but the next few layers will add some yellow which will warm and lighten his eyes.

Stage 7

Stage 7 Of Painting Charlie

The final stage of the painting is to paint his gold collar and start painting in his whiskers and the fur in his ears. His whiskers are huge curving lines, some white and a few black. I’ll let some of the blue base coat come through the white of the whiskers and add the smaller, finer whiskers on his chin.

Finishing The Painting

Charlie On Red

In this final photo of the series I’ve finished his whiskers and added the buckle to his gold collar as well as adding many small touches of pure colour and adjusting some of the tones in his body to make him darker.

A detail from the finished painting of Charlie

This close up of the painting shows the details of his eyes and the fur in the ears as well as the blues and violets around his muzzle. I’ve really enjoyed painting Charlie.

A detail from the finished painting of Charlie

Or you can watch the painting process as a slide show.


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