Teddy the Brown and White Tabby Cat

Finished on June 21, 2022, this is a portrait of Teddy, a cute brown and white tabby cat! His portrait was created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas. I used bright, psychedelic rainbow colors for his fur, and a multicolored abstract background which is a gradient of teal, blue, purple, magenta, red, orange and yellow. His eyes were painted their natural green color. The stripes were painted with several layers of different blue and purple paints. The “brown” areas were painted with many layers of a spectrum of colors, including red, orange, yellow, light blue, light purple, magenta, and hot pink, in various amounts. This results in a cool trippy effect!

Teddy the Brown and White Tabby Cat Painting Progress
Teddy the Brown and White Tabby Cat Painting Progress

Above shows the progress of the painting of Teddy. In general, my paintings tend to follow the same process, whether I am painting a pet portrait or an original painting for myself. This is a method that I have found works for me, and I feel it is efficient and gets the vibrant results I want. First, I transfer my sketch to the canvas using graphite paper. Then I paint the background. I chose the background colors based on a few decisions. One is what the owner wants. If the owner leaves it up to me, I try to have the background colors be complementary to the main colors of the pet. In this case, Teddy was going to be painted primarily with warm colors, so having a lot of cool colors like blue and purple in the background create a lot of contrast and make him stand out. I tend to work a lot with gradients rather than solid colors, as I think that makes the background more interesting. Instead of a smooth gradation, I chose to use broad brush strokes to create some texture in the background.

Next, I will paint the eyes. This is the most important feature, and I will always paint them using the animal’s natural eye color. After the eyes are done to my satisfaction, I will move onto other facial features, such as the nose, mouth and ears. Afterwards, I will “block in” the colors on the face using an underpainting. In the case of Teddy, I used magenta and warm purples to paint the main features of the face that were not white, and also darker purple for the stripes. Then I go over this base layer with all kinds of other colors to create fur detail, markings, texture, highlights and shadows. The reason for painting a base layer first rather than just painting the fur details directly is that it covers up the white canvas and allows me to establish color values for the painting (dark and light areas), which is hard to do on a pure white canvas. Also, since canvas is textured, the indentations in the canvas often get missed, creating speckling if you are not careful. The underpainting allows these gaps to be filled so they don’t show through. After the face is complete, I do the same thing on the body.

In the photos above, you can view close ups of the painting. Since Teddy is a brown and white tabby cat, I want to create the impression of brown without actually using brown paint. In reality, a brown tabby cat is not brown at all. Each individual hair has stripes on it of dark and light pigments, which gives the impression of “brown”. This pattern is called agouti, and is common in many mammals. So in order to do so, I layered many different colors, and used light yellow at the end to create the very light areas, such as around the eyes and at the edges of the face.

Teddy the Brown and White Tabby Cat Painting

If you love this portrait of Teddy and would like a painting of your own kitty, please visit my Pet Portraits Information Page to learn more! I can create custom colorful artwork of any pet, whether it is a dog, cat, bird, rodent, reptile, fish, or farm animal! I can also paint wildlife. I have many different styles to choose from.

The original painting is hanging on his owner’s wall, but I have this artwork available in my Fine Art Print store as a wall art print, home decor, gifts and more. Wall art options include framed prints, canvas prints, and prints on acrylic, wood, and metal, as well as tapestries and posters. Home decor products include throw pillows, fleece blankets, duvet covers, shower curtains, bath and beach towels, and ornaments. Gift products include tote bags, coffee mugs, jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards, phone cases, and apparel. These are perfect gifts for a cat lover!