All wired up…again!

Isn’t it amazing how much you rely on the Internet these days?  In fact any computer system.
Much as I love cute little furry animals, I’m not too impressed with the sleeping spot that one of them chose last week.  We have a transformer box on our estate that steps the power down from the grid to enable normal domestic usage.  Often small animals decide to investigate with dire consequences… and we lose our power. 

Unfortunately, last weeks hari-kari took our office server with it and we have been offline for a week and a half, not good when you rely on the nework for business. 
Anyway all back now, so I thought I’d show you the progress of one of my latest commissions:
His name is Polo and he owns a human called Barbara ;0)
Polo is a beautiful Maine Coon, mainly white with tan patches on his ears and tail.  Barbara wanted to show off his tan bits, but as with all animals it takes a long while to get the right photograph.  Finally she settled on this great portrait.
The key thing about portraits of white animals is the background choice.  It’s tempting to go for black “to make the animal stand out”, but does that always work?
In my gallery you’ll see a Westie – Lucy – that I did on black velour.  Black paper is one thing, but black velour is a whole other kettle of fish.  It’s extremely difficult to get very white whites on black velour.  The portrait of Lucy works well because Westies often have that coarse undertone to their fur, but for Polo I though something more subtle would suit.  Barbara and I had chatted about trying to show off Polo’s tan markings, so I suggested that a sand coloured background might work.
As ever I started with the eyes once I was happy with the basic outline.  Then I moved on to the features around the eyes.
I start with a basic undertone then layer the detail on top for each segment.

It’s amazing how many colours you use to render a predominantly white cat. So here we are so far.  My biggest problem is the whiskers.  I itch to put them in at about this stage – don’t ask me why ;0).  There is still plenty of work to do before that, whiskers are usually the last thing I put in, but they make an amazing difference.
Anyway I’ll be back during the week with an update on Polo and I’ll introduce you to Pug!

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