Winnie Cat Portrait Session 5

After 5 sessions of work I’ve finished the portrait of our late cat Winnie. My wife loved the Winnie cat portrait when she saw it last night, and I hope to have a better picture of it soon.

Winnie Cat Portrait Session 5
Winnie Cat Portrait Session 5

I haven’t done a painting this large in a long time and with it’s size I have learned a few things. First, my iPhone is really terrible at taking good photographs of artwork. I have known this before but it wasn’t so utterly apparent with the smaller paintings as it is now. Literally there is not one photo of this painting that is not blurry, or of horrible color and value. Part of the problem is my small studio setup, it’s not the best setup for taking high quality photos.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 digital camera was suggested by and it seems to be a very good choice for taking high quality photos of my work, but the price point is still way above what I’m willing to pay at the moment. Currently if I purchased it new with a lens and a tripod it would cost me around $700… ouch! This is something that will have to wait for the future when I’m painting larger works hopefully destined for a gallery.

The second thing I have learned is that I paint not only dries too fast, but it also dries very unevenly. As seen in these photos there are huge areas of this painting that are so matt looking that the values are several steps off. I’m going to have to find a good medium that adds a gloss to the paint and keeps it from drying so fast.

The medium I’m going to try is as follows:

  • 10 parts Gamsol
  • 5 parts stand oil
  • 1 part refined linseed oil
  • 5 parts Venice turpentine
  • 2 parts oil of cloves

This medium recipe will slow the drying time, lower the viscosity, and increase the gloss. Although I may need more oil of cloves for the burnt umber and less for the white. I’m getting this information from as I prefer Mr Carder’s pragmatic approach to painting and after researching the properties of each ingredient I see that it does what I need.

Winnie Cat Portrait Session 5 , setup

Session Details