Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Cat pet portrait work in progress (pastel painting)

Several months ago, I was asked to create a head and neck portrait of this beautiful cat to be given as an early Christmas present to my client's sister.  Like always, when I work on my commissions, I take progression photos which I send to the client for review and feedback. This not only gives the client an opportunity to provide input but also allows them to view the creation process as the subject slowly but surely comes to life in front of their eyes. On occasion, the client may change their mind about a particular aspect (such as a collar or tag for example) and as long as the work is not so far advanced and impossible to change, I am able to fulfill the request.

So, I thought that it would be nice to share the step by step process of how this kitty came to life on paper. Unfortunately, I had to work rather quickly because of the Christmas rush and so I did not take as many progress shots as I usually do.

This first image is a high resolution scan of the actual completed artwork. I manually adjust for color, tone and value using Photoshop and then add a watermark for id purposes. I try to match the original as close as possible but there is always some slight variation due to individual monitor settings and light conditions.


The following images were taken under my work lamp using my cell phone. I don't scan the art as I'm working on it as this is mostly unnecessary and takes up valuable work time. On occasion, I might scan the art when it is further advanced; for example, if the client needs to compare eye or coat color to the actual subject so that it is portrayed as accurately as possible.
Step 1
Step 2

Step 3


  1. I love the progression shots of this painting Colette. An amazing portrait that will be treasured.....thank you for sharing.....Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    1. I'm thrilled to read your comment Hilda; thanks so very much. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well!

  2. Thank you for doing the beautiful commission for my sister! She'll love it forever. :)

    1. My pleasure Pam! Sylvester was such a charm to draw!

  3. Lovely work as ever Colette. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and productive New Year. Suex