Colorful Cat Portrait of Long Haired Gray Tabby Cat

This pet portrait features my own cat, Frodo, and it is painted with acrylics on 14″ x 18″ stretched canvas. It was finished on October 1, 2020. This is the first of many portraits I will be doing of my own personal pets. Frodo is a four year old male long haired gray tabby cat. I chose to represent his colors with various shades of blue and purple with some pops of green and magenta. The background is a dark abstract of mostly purple, blue and magenta, with a bit of teal.  The lighter areas of his fur are actually a creamy color, so I enhanced those areas with very light warm colors.

Closeup of painting

Closeup of painting

Above you can see some close up views of the painting, which shows the details and colors used.  To achieve this color, I used a base painting of Light Blue Violet, and layered many other colors on top of it, including dioxazine purple, light blue permanent, fluorescent pink, brilliant blue, light aqua green, and several others.  Applying a base layer first then layering on other colors creates depth, and also eliminates the white of the canvas showing through.  His eyes are interesting, and they seem to change color depending on the light source. They are usually a pale aqua greenish-gray, but sometimes can appear more yellow or green.  The eye color here does not match exactly, but it fits better with the overall portrait.  There is a bit of blue color surrounding his pupils, which is captured here.

gray tabby cat photo vs painting

gray tabby cat photo vs painting

Above is a comparison of the painting with the original reference photo.  I took several artistic liberties with this portrait.  I did not recreate the fur on the neck exactly like this photo, but used it as a general guide.  I have many other photos of him, as well as looking at the actual cat himself, that I used as reference.  I was originally going to have a dramatic light source, like the photo, but decided on a more flat one instead.  This is more of an artistic interpretation than just copying the photo exactly.  I may paint another one in the future using a dramatic light source.

The Story of Frodo’s Rescue

Frodo is the newest member of our gang. We rescued him in 2016, from a parking lot near a steakhouse.  We had met some friends for a farewell lunch at this particular steakhouse. While we were getting ready to leave, my husband saw some movement in the yard in front of the restaurant. It was a little gray tabby cat kitten, and was running frantically around the area, meowing.  He was semi-feral, and very scared, but still meowing for attention.  We could only get about 10 feet from him before he would run off and hide somewhere.  The property around the steakhouse had lots of bushes, a wooden deck, and an old wagon.  The kitten hid underneath the wagon, and we could not get him to come out.  My husband picked up one end of the wagon to get to him, but the kitten ran off into some bushes.

We cautiously chased him around the property for almost an hour.  I tried to lure him to us with some chicken strips and pieces of fish, but he would not come close to us.  Eventually, he ran and hid underneath the deck leading up to the front entrance of the restaurant. I played with the kitten underneath the deck with a long twig and talked to him, while my husband ran inside and got a smoked sausage.  We were hoping that his appetite would get the better of him, since he looked like he was starving. Fortunately for us, the kitten was very interested in the sausage!  I broke off small pieces of the sausage and put it on the deck steps.  Slowly, he came out, took a piece, and ran back underneath the deck with it.  I gradually put the pieces further away from the hole in the deck, and he started to come out more.  Once he was about halfway out, I used my free hand to quickly reach down and grab him, and pick him up.

He was severely underweight and very small; I originally thought he was 2 months old based on his weight, but he turned out to be almost 5 months old! He also had an old wound on his shoulder from who knows what. We were originally going to just keep him for a bit and then find him a permanent home. But we decided to keep him instead. I am a foster failure! He is a very sweet cat; I have never once heard him hiss or growl. He is very high energy and loves playing with ping pong balls, packing paper, and chasing the other cats around.


If you like this painting, and want one of your own pet, please check out my Pet Portraits Commission Information page.

This original artwork is not for sale, but it can be purchased as a fine art print and other products in my online print stores. Check out my FineArtAmerica store for art prints, canvas prints, home decor, and other products. In my RedBubble Store you can find many unique products, such as apparel, jigsaw puzzles, coasters, phone cases, tote bags, and much more.