One of our members, Bea, sent in her picture of her daughter’s cat which she would like to do. As a member she can write in for advice on colours and how to approach the picture. Bea writes:
These are pictures of my daughter’s cat. Not the picture I am drawing but they show the fur. I have looked at instructions on all of your cars but I cannot work out my best options. Would 184, 187, 176, 199 be the best option for the dark areas or should I
be including a grey. The cat is mainly white with occasional grey, black patches and some pinky brown tones too.
Listen or Read Colin’s Advice below:
Hi Bea. Steve sent me your email regarding the cat that you want to do for your daughter. I’m not quite in agreement with the colours you’ve chosen here. If you got a grey animal, (largely it’s grey) I know we’ve got some ochre in the eye, but I certainly wouldn’t use ochre as part of the fur build up. I’d use grey. You did mention that. Should I be including grey where you should actually definitely include grey and I would use a warm grey to rather than the blue-y greys because when you’ve got ochre involved, usually want to have the warm colours rather than the colder blue tones of grey. So that’s what I would do there. 184 you mentioned which is an ochre I’d be wary of that colour too because that’s quite a strong yellowy ochre.I would use perhaps 183 would have been a better one because that tones down a little bit. But 187 yes, that would work very well. 176 is okay. 199 could only be used and should only be used on top of stronger tones. It can be used on top of 176. It can also be used on the greys so you should be all right on that. The other thing I would do there the positioning of the cat is not very good. You’re going to have to reposition or rather than an arm, it’s going to have to have a cushion or something to lean on because she’s being pushed up in one corner and if you crop that quite tight, which is what I would do maybe just over the top of the ear, crop it and the other ear so that you make it more of a concentrated portrait of the animal.
It’s not a bad photograph as it happens, but it’s not a really a very good position. Cats are notoriously difficult to photograph. They’ve got their own mind and they do what they want to do. You just go to take a chance on them, and getting the right picture. Usually when I used to do my own, portraits, I used to reel off a whole roll of film. This is before digital. If I was lucky, I might get one or maybe two that worked. That’s so notoriously obstinate. Anyway, I hope that helps.
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