Art Adventures

Fuzzy paws. Purring. Silliness. That is was our house is filled with now that we have a kitten. We lost our older cat and thought maybe we would go cat-less for a while, but it became impossible to ignore the imploring looks from my son. Not one to resist the thought of a kitten, I succumbed to the pressure.

But it proved to be love at first sight with this little kitty we brought home and named “Luna”. She is a fiesty little purr-machine, a contradiction in behavior. One minute she is tearing through the house with abandon and the thundering feet of a buffalo, the next minute purring in our arms or giving us a no-claw hug of sweetness. I’m bewitched.

Little Luna-kitty. Don't be fooled by the calm demeanor

Little Luna-kitty. Don’t be fooled by the calm demeanor

So, of course, I feel the need to express myself on canvas and did so recently. I had gone through a rash of three (yep, THREE) paintings that I began and ended up wiping off. Usually, I don’t have as many failures! But when I took a photo of Luna, sitting in the window, with my zoom lens, I knew this one would be a winner. See? It pays to paint what you love! Proof in the pudding right here.

I began with a closely cropped photo, not a lot of background. Before the gesso undercoating dried, I collaged into it and scraped loops, marks, scribbles, and the word “summer” into the wet material. This is intended to give the painting a feeling of freedom, fun, summertime, and warmth.

Detail of the canvas before paint is applied

Detail of the canvas before paint is applied

You can see in the above photo the liquid mask, which has bee painted on all the areas that I wanted to preserve as white. You may also be able to see the word “summer”, etched into the gesso on the left side of the image.

As I usually do when painting an animal, I begin with the eyes, as they have all the magic. If the eyes don’t work, nothing will. After the eye colors and values were laid in, I worked on the very dark background, choosing the darkness as a strong highlight to the brightly-lit fur.

Painting the dark neutral purple background behind the cat

Painting the dark neutral purple background behind the cat

Once the background was in and the general values in the fur established, I returned to the eyes to detail them out as perfectly as I could.

Detail of eye

Detail of eye

Above, you can see where I have removed the liquid mask after establishing the general color and value of the eye. The mask protected the light reflections within the eye. Once I removed the mask, I softened the edges of the reflections and added in a bit of blue color to deepen the value.

Finished eyes

Finished eyes

After the eyes were finished, I wet the edges of the cat fur and fuzzy paws, making sure reflections in the fur were warm and the texture soft where they needed to be.

Sunbeam, 16x12 original watercolor on gesso-covered plexiglas, $325

Sunbeam, 16×12 original watercolor on gesso-covered plexiglas, $325

Just look at those paws!! So cute! This painting glows! The texture is crazy, giving us a tangible feel of fur and fun. Little Luna personified, planning a pounce while deceptively sunning herself in the windowsill. This may be my favorite painting so far. Though, if you know me well, you know I say that frequently. Enjoy my little Luna.

To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice. Shipping extra. Prints available, sizes starting at 8×10 for $25.

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All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen unless otherwise noted.


6 Responses to “Little Luna with Fuzzy Paws”

  1. Joy Makon

    Hi Sarah, Pleased to follow your art and other interests. Looking forward to lots of inspiration.


    • sbhansen2014

      Hi Joy! Thank you so much for the follow. Your art is wonderful. I love making connections with other artists and seeing their interpretationsite of the world around them. 🙂



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