Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orenda, New Painting

Well, it looks like the computer gods are cooperating today, at least as far as uploading goes. Perhaps I tried to load too many at a time? Perhaps it is the particular computer. I am using the desktop now because I cannot crop with my laptop.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to get some feedback. As many of you know, I've been in an animal mode lately. This is a painting of my sister in law's beautiful Birman cat, Orenda. Orenda recently passed on to the great sunlit cushion in the sky. She lived to the ripe age of 21.

My daughter snapped this photo a couple of years ago. I found her picture and thought I'd try painting her.

Well, this proved to be quite difficult and I am not quite "finished". First of all, I had to tackle the lush interior of my sister-in-law's house. Gail's house is quite beautiful and she has impeccable taste when it comes to furnishings, pillows, color and decorating etc.

Second of all, Orenda is a fluffy, mostly white, long-haired cat. How do I capture the fur without fussing too much?

Third of all, Orenda is backlit. While this made for a beautiful photo, I found it quite challenging to capture her delicate face when I could not see it very well. I did not have another photo. I wanted to capture that wonderful back-lighting through her fur! Anyway I've been going back to this painting for several weeks and while I know I have to make a few adjustments, I thought I would ask my wonderful blogging friends for your advice. There are spots where I keep fussing (like the color of the shadow behind the red cushion on the chair). Also the pillow has a cushion sewn on top if it. It looks like a second pillow, but it is not. The patterns change. I usually avoid a lot of patterns as I don't like to get into that "tickling" mode. Sometimes I need to stop and critique. Your thoughts please?


Shazza said...

I think you did a beautiful job Anita. I just want to plop down on those cushions right next to her fluffy self!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hmmm, I think you're done. I think this is a fantastic painting, Neetzy. You managed to put in just enough detail. I've always heard that it's good to leave a little up to the viewer's imagination. Perfect!

neetzy said...

Thanks Shaz,
Orenda was a beautiful kitty! I think I finished with cats for a while. I just needed a break from landscapes.

I have been doing some, "whimisical" painting as of late. I'm experimenting and liking it, but not quite ready to post.


Thanks. When I post paintings, I see them differently. There are a few little things I want to fix. Oh well, I glad you like it. This was a refreshing little jaunt for me.

dive said...

Neetzy: I think you've captured Orenda perfectly. Her backlit fur is amazing and a perfect contrast to her sweet face with those piercing blue eyes. I particularly love the way her paw is underneath that tassel, which just screams mischievous playfulness.
The soft furnishings are perfect; you've caught the textures brilliantly, especially in that shadow on the bottom right.
If you'll permit me one leetle nitpick, it is that I agree with you on the colour of the shadow behind the red cushion; shadows from red need green in them. You've got some green in there but maybe it should spread into the blue area.
Other than that, don't change a thing. It is gorgeous.

neetzy said...


Thank you for your nitpick. I feel the same way about that shadow. It was originally greenish like the rest of the chair. Then I glazed over it with more of an ultramarine. (I'm not sure why). Now it looks too purple to me. I just had to step away from it for a while.

Kat Mortensen said...

I think you did a wonderful job with the lush surroundings and the texture of the fur. I can see how the lighting made it difficult for you with the face - it doesn't appear as clearly defined. it's tough to get those eyes right too - cat's eyes are - what's the word, I'm looking for? ephemeral maybe? They are hard to capture, in any case, BUT I think overall, you've done a commendable job. If I send you a photo of "Red" would you like to have a go?


neetzy said...

Thanks Kat,

I'll have a "go" at Red, but I don't "guarantee" anything. These paintings were exercises in painting the interior and the animal. I would never "backlight" a portrait. Send me a few photos if you want an actual portrait and I will see what I can do. The more information you can give me on Red's personality, the better!