Tag Archives: cat

Colorful Pet Portrait Painting of Brown Tabby Kitten

My latest pet portrait painting was completed on May 15, 2020. The subject was a young long haired brown tabby kitten named Finnegan. His owner really loves the color red, and wanted me to incorporate a sunset color palette in his portrait. His portrait was painted using acrylic paints on a 9″ x 12″ stretched canvas.  You can see his portrait compared to the reference photo of him below.

Finnegan kitten portrait photo comparison

Finnegan kitten portrait photo comparison

He is laying on a fleece blanket, and I wanted to mimic that texture in my background, yet also use vibrant colors.  Originally, it was all red and yellow, but I felt that it was too harsh like that, so I toned down the yellow behind his head with light blue.  This also helps to divide the background into foreground and background, and the blue recedes a bit into the background providing some depth.

Even though I used an entire spectrum of colors to paint his fur, you can still tell he is a brown tabby kitten.  The brownish areas of his fur have a magenta, red, and orange undertone, with yellow, blue and green layered on top.  His stripes are created with dark purple and blue for contrast.  I used light blue along the lower edge of his arms and tail to separate him from the reds in the blanket.  No black was use in the creation of this portrait.  Areas that appear black in the painting are actually created using layers of dark purple.

Red paint has a tendency to look very dark and dull on the canvas.  Instead of red, I used fluorescent pink in many layers, along with orange, to create a bright vibrant red that seems to glow on the canvas. This is much more apparent in person than it is on the photo, as fluorescent colors do not scan accurately.  The result is a red that really stands out, instead of looking dull, washed out, and dark.  I recently started using a lot of fluorescent pink acrylic painting in my paintings and it really makes a huge difference in the vibrancy of the colors.

If you like this artwork and would like one of your own please visit my Pet Portraits Commission page for more information.

If you are instead interested in purchasing cat wall art for your home or office, please check out my Art Print Store online.

Colorful Pet Portrait of MC

Colorful Tabby Cat Pet Portrait

Just completed on April 7, 2020 is this colorful pet portrait of a brown and white tabby cat named MC.  It was created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas.  The portrait was created using a photograph as a reference with a few modifications. You can see a larger version of this painting in my Pet Portraits portfolio.

The “brown” tabby stripes of this cat are actually created with a whole rainbow of colors!  Instead of large areas of the same color, I used a small round paintbrush to create fur texture using different colors next to each other in small amounts.  This creates an illusion where when viewed from a distance, the colors merge and become brown, but when viewed up close, you can see each brush stroke is a different color.  Click on the images below to see a close up view of the details in the face and body fur.


It was both a challenge and fun to create the tabby stripes on MC. Tabby markings aren’t just stripes.  They are usually blotches and spots as well.  Brown tabbies actually aren’t brown at all.  Their fur features what is called an “agouti” pattern, where each individual hair has bands of color along it, known as “ticking”.  When a lot of these hairs are grouped together, they give the illusion of color and markings.

The white areas of his fur were also created with multiple colors. The light source for the reference photo was from the right side, so it created a nice shadow on the side of his face.  I created this in the painting by using lots of blue and purple colors.  I balanced the cool blues and purples with warm pinks, orange and yellow throughout the white areas.

I chose the background color, a gradient of yellows, greens, and blues, to bring out the rich green color of his eyes.  The style I used for the background is what I call confetti. I create a gradient of the lighter colors first, then layer short thick brush strokes of the adjacent color overtop.  This creates an interesting yet non distracting background.  The lighter area of the background (yellow) is adjacent to the darkest areas of the cat’s body.  The darkest area of the background (blue and purple) is adjacent to the lightest areas of the cat’s portrait, mainly the face and upper body.  This contrast helps the cat “pop” out from the background.

MC photo and painting comparison

MC photo and painting comparison

Above you can see the comparison of the photo reference on the left to the painting on the right.  You can see that some changes were made to the portrait compared to the photo.  I rotated the reference photo so the cat was more horizontal.  The collar was removed.  The chair and background were changed, bringing the focus on the cat.  The orientation of his ears was modified slightly, bringing them more forward.  This gives the cat a more relaxed appearance.  In the photo the cat’s ears are more flattened toward the side, sometimes called “airplane ears”.  This can typically indicate displeasure or stress, or maybe he was listening to something in the background.  But it gives the impression of irritation, and I thought it would be better to have the ears at a more relaxed angle.

If you enjoy this painting, and want a similar one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portrait Information page here to learn more about the process.

This painting is available as a fine art print in my gallery store.  Choose from multiple paper types with hundreds of options for framing.  You can also choose a canvas print, metal print, acrylic print, or wood print.  Other products available are a cell phone case, throw pillow, fleece blanket, coffee mug, tote bag, wall tapestry, greeting cards, and a spiral notebook.

Siamese Cat Painting

Colorful Siamese Painting Available as Print and More

My newest painting, Jewel of the Orient – Siamese Cat, is now available online for purchase as a fine art print and much more in my online stores.   This painting was created with acrylic paints on board, and measures 11″ wide by 14″ tall. It was completed on March 1, 2019. The original is for sale, if you are interested please Contact Me.

Continue reading