Nimbus the Cat

How do you paint a cat?

That depends. If you’re overly stubborn like I am, you may try to paint him freehand. In which case, be prepared to erase A LOT.

When I first started trying to paint animals, I would print out a copy of the photo the correct size, then transfer the important parts–mostly the face–onto my pastel paper. Even though it’s absolutely not true (use whatever tools create success for you!), I always felt a little as if I was cheating.

So with Nimbus I decided to draw him freehand. My pencil sketch turned out well, so that gave me confidence.

Over-confidence.

Nimbus has been through more than a few revisions. I was captivated by his eyes and head, so I ended up making them too big, didn’t quite get the head tilt correct, the shape of the nose was wonky…a lot of different things needed adjustment, and I erased his whole head and started over more than once. Thank God for the ease of erasing in pastel!

The painting of Nimbus happily is a reasonable facsimile of himself now, and having been accepted as a gift by his family, is off to his new home.

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