Sunday, 7 November 2010

The first Cats Portrait

This is what I've been working on for the last two weeks and it is proudly with the owner now. Presenting "Tochi" the terror, and "Georgie" the playful, insect-hunting, sook. It's a big portrait like the previous one, bigger, A3 size in fact! But unlike the previous portrait, the owner Seng was happy to leave Tochi and Georgie's portraiture entirely up to me, even keen to see what my visual interpretation would be like.

This is what I learnt about them. Tochi was named 'Tochi the terror' after a Japanese horror film character, because although extremely friendly and cute, he had extrememly sharp claws he loved using for both fighting other cats who trespassed into his backyard, and for chasing/scratching one's ankles and legs or arms in affection. He was an older cat, still very agile and spry, but also very relaxed and seemed to like just quietly sitting or lying around.

Georgie was a much younger adult, who still loved playing. She had a furry, loose tummy (that I was told often happens to female cats after they're neutured). She was very cautious, almost afraid of strangers like myself, but she was easily distracted by her fluorescent, yellow and pink feather toy, and spent a lot of her time stalking and chasing an earwig and other bugs, underneath a large, grassy plant while we sat outside with them. Seng told me she often hid and pounced on an unsuspecting Tochi as he walked passed, but Tochi would quickly hiss and dismiss her, not sharing her interest to playfight.

My usual turnaround SHOULD be a few days (if I get no interuption), one week at the most. I have been too careful and not trusting myself while doing this portrait since I had total free reign. I had multiple versions that I mulled over after I had already started on the one I was going with, and then there were moments where I believed I had ruined the painting. In the end the painting finished up great.

So if I just took out all the time where I was second guessing myself and being afraid of producing a bad picture before it was done, I would have came to the same great, finished painting, a week and a half earlier!

"I had the most amazing caricature of my two cats done by talented Perth artist and animator, Roseline Lau...She's captured the likeness and "personality" of the cats perfectly - Tochi's the older, distinguished gentleman who shows you who's boss by using his claws, while Georgie is playful in a slightly ditzy way...check out the ear wig in her insect collecting jar - what attention to detail!". Seng Mah, Nov. 2010

No comments: