Sabrina, meet Sabrina

Yesterday, my friend forwarded me this photo of her cat, Sabrina, posing in front of the portrait I painted and I just had to share.  The expression is so comical!  I hope you enjoy. :)

Sabrina, meet Sabrina

And here is the final digital painting printed on canvas wrap. I'll soon be posting photos of a new commission I'm working on of a Samoyed-collie mix.

Sabrina commission complete

Well, this one took a little longer than expected, circumstances not withstanding but she's finally finished. The client is happy and I'm looking forward to my next project.

Sabrina - step 3 - paint

Before getting too involved in the details, I've laid in some flat colour with which to show the client. I've added the pillow colour and flooring on different layers so that I can make quick changes should the need arise.

Sabrina - step 2 - ink completed

I've completed inking the piece digitally and have submitted it to the client to ensure she's happy with the likeness.  I could also have prepared this traditionally in pencil but I often find it more efficient to do this in Photoshop because I can add another layer underneath to show where the bones sit.  This helps me to see any obvious errors in the pose and to see how the fur will sit.

Sabrina - steps 1 and 2 (clean-up and ink)

As the client has made her selection of the pose and composition she prefers, I begin cleaning up the thumbnail by placing tracing paper over the initial sketch and overlaying rough perspective lines in blue. I cheat a little on the perspective as it's not necessary to be 100% accurate for this piece so I don't bother agonizing over lines being a little off.  I've been told that as long as it looks correct, it is correct - at least to the viewer.  Mind you, in something more obvious, I would take more care. I follow this by outlining the shapes of the character in red so as not to get mixed up with the perspective lines drawn. Something else I learned is that it's easier to work with perspective on a thumbnail or smaller picture than at full scale and having to break out the extra long rulers! ;-)

Once happy with the layout, I outline the cat and bed in pencil and add some light shading.  At this point, I scan it in and bring it into Photoshop for inking which I do on a separate layer above the scanned image.

Sabrina commission thumbnails

Now that I've moved and my office is less of a disaster zone, I thought I'd attach some thumbnails I completed for my friend's pet portrait commission. It's been on hold for a while for various reasons but I will now be resuming and plan to post pics of the progression.