pastel portrait of cat

February 2020 Personal Creative Challenge, Day 9: Update on Amy’s Portrait

pastel portrait of cat

Amy’s portrait draft, about 16 x 23, pastel

I’m counting all creative things I do into my creative challenge, especially artwork. Time spent on a portrait works into that.

I began this portrait last summer but picked it up again after my hip surgery last fall. I had a chance to meet with the customer last month and posted the first draft then. I have a few extra photos and worked a lot of detail into the portrait in the meantime.

Here is the first draft.

Amy, first draft.

In the draft from today, you can see more detail in her face and front legs and tail, though my cell phone wasn’t having any of the darker areas on her side where you can actually see her stripes. Her outline is firm, no changes now in position. Whiskers go on last, after all else is done.

Before I work out the plant and other background objects I need to have Amy done, but I also worked a little into the plant and the cushion. I typically like the subject to be more detailed than the background, unless the background itself, or some object, is part of the actual composition, like a blanket or a toy.

I’m pleased with how Amy is working out. While I still have work to do on her, she’s really nearly done. I want to darken up the plant and the wall behind, and I will do that next so that I can balance her light and dark values with the plant and wall behind her. Right now she’s the darkest thing in the composition, but with those being darker than they are, I may have to lighten her up.

I may work on her for the next day or two because I’m this close to finishing, then get back to other paintings. Or I may work a bit, take a break for perspective and do a few other things, then finish her. Until the next update, here’s to a great creative month!


I began this year with a pledge to myself and my art: To be certain I won’t let ideas pass me by I’m setting myself up for a personal painting challenge in February, similar to the painting challenges I’ve participated in in past years. I aspire (but don’t expect) to create a painting or sketch every day in the month, to be posted on my blog each day.

This is my painting from Day 7. See other paintings in this and other painting challenges on the page Creative Challenges.

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