Tobey’s Gaze

Tobey • 12" x 12" • 2015

Tobey • 12″ x 12″ • 2015

Just finished this commission for a painting of Tobey, the furry friend of Alan’s co-worker Melinda. Last month, Alan was transporting an earlier painting, The Big Yawn, to its new owner at his work. Melinda spotted it and asked about a commission for her nursery.

We started by reviewing a few dozen photos, and she narrowed it down to six for me to look through in more detail. I picked three and did quick Photoshop mockups on different canvas shapes. One in particular had great lighting and detail, so I adjusted the angle and gave it a close crop to better match the intense staring-at-something-behind-you look cats often have.

The color layering (including the awful blue stage every painting goes through) worked to particularly good effect in the eyes. The fuzzy blurring of the white areas also helped soften the rest to make the details stand out more. Usually on these, especially on the paintings of people, I’ll just paint the edges black if I’m planning on adding a frame. I opted to paint around the edges on this one – so every layer I painted that you see here I also painted on each of the four edges (where applicable). It’s good practice in working out what looks right from different sides to ensure that changes in viewing angles won’t make the perspective look odd.

Enjoy your painting, Melinda!

The source image

The source image

First, the sketch

First, the sketch

Yellow ochre

Yellow Ochre

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Umber

Burnt Umber

Ultramarine Blue

Ultramarine Blue

Whites

Whites

Grays & Yellow Ochre

Grays & Yellow Ochre

Pink

Pinks

Greens

Greens

Softening up

Softening up

Painted edge detail

Painted edge detail

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