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www.ArtTutor.com 1 I shall be working quickly and loosely with Atelier Interactive acrylics. These paints give me the ability to change the dry surface of the paint, create multiple quick drying layers, and create a painterly finish. I have chosen a reference photograph of a young tabby cat, which will give me ample opportunity to really push my brushstrokes to be bold and to use heightened colour. I love the luscious colours in this photograph and the backlighting. The highlights give this young tabby cat a bright glow. I'm really drawn to the colours in the shadow over the neck and chest – this will really give me a chance to use heightened colour and create a loose painterly surface. I am intending to complete this piece within one hour, forcing myself to be brief with the brush strokes and accurate in the colour mixing. Speed is a great gift to those wanting an Impressionistic or painterly feel to their work. Set yourself the challenge and I guarantee that you will be surprised with the results… ACRYLICS DEMONSTRATION TABBY CAT – LOOSE AND FAST By Jane Lazenby

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Page 1: cat in acrylics PAINTBOXARTMEDIAarttutor.s3.amazonaws.com/acrylics/acrylics-pdfs/tabby-cat.pdf · I have chosen to use Atelier Interactive acrylic paints: ... Step 1: Addition of

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I shall be working quickly and loosely with Atelier Interactive acrylics. These paints give me the ability to change the dry surface of the paint, create multiple quick drying layers, and create a painterly finish. I have chosen a reference photograph of a young tabby cat, which will give me ample opportunity to really push my brushstrokes to be bold and to use heightened colour.

I love the luscious colours in this photograph and the backlighting. The highlights give this young tabby cat a bright glow. I'm really drawn to the colours in the shadow over the neck and chest – this will really give me a chance to use heightened colour and create a loose painterly surface. I am intending to complete this piece within one hour, forcing myself to be brief with the brush strokes and accurate in the colour mixing. Speed is a great gift to those wanting an Impressionistic or painterly feel to their work. Set yourself the challenge and I guarantee that you will be surprised with the results…

ACRYLICS DEMONSTRATION TABBY CAT – LOOSE AND FAST By Jane Lazenby  

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Tabby Cat – Loose and Fast by Jane Lazenby

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Materials I have chosen to use Atelier Interactive acrylic paints: these will allow me to create bold colour layers and create a surface texture. For my palette, I always use a discarded old ceramic white plate. It’s easy to clean and mix on, it won’t stain, and gives me a clear view throughout my colour mixing. Two brushes: an old bristle round 8 and a softer pointed synthetic 4. The linen panel is 30 cm square, and is primed with a colourless layer of gesso so that the natural fabric colour is visible. Derwent white sketching pencil to draw in my structure. Colour palette: red black, burnt umber, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue (French), transparent Perione orange, crimson, Indian yellow, Naples yellow and titanium white.

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The Initial Sketch I didn't start this painting with a classic sketch; initially I laid down a mixture of red black and white, trying to allow the main outline of the cat to evolve from the different tonal values. I'm working with the number 8 bristle, using a vigorous scrubbing motion - energy is key! This method also gives me a forgiving, absorbent base for the following layers of paint to adhere to.

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Step 1: Addition of the White Pencil Sketch I create a simple, brief sketch using a soft white pencil over the now dry base colours, looking to map out elements of the main structure and the more obvious tonal changes.

I add further dark tones using the red black to help to define my shapes.

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Step 2: Highlights and First Colour Layers I start to add the obvious light areas and begin to create a colour base with the indian yellow / orange / white mix. I try to scrub in a veil of colour, rarely washing the brush so the paint remains as dry as possible. This is a very rapid stage, allowing the colours to mix together on the surface. I'm happy to allow glimpses of the purple base coat to peep through the colours, this all adds to the end looseness of the piece.

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Step 3: Completing Base Colours

The brush is rapidly blocking in the main colour changes: this process takes only a few minutes as the colours are scrubbed together on the painting surface.

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Step 4: Adding Tonal Contrasts

I now lay in the highlight colours and work further on the darks; I allow an accent colour (orange) to describe the warmer elements and work more into the shadow on the neck (a mix of orange / blue / white).

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Step 5: Suggesting Detail

I allow the brush to work into the blocks of colour, letting it dance to add dabs of paint that will create the effect of soft detail. Again, I reconfirm the lights and darks. The eye has been simply blocked in using a green and pale blue mix, the highlights are added and we are ready to move to the next stage…

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Step 6: Cooling things down Before the painting had only used colours with a 'warm' value, now I work into the colours with 'cool' shades adding blue and cool lilac around the eyes and chest. I find adding cool colours increases the depth. The light blue is acting as a highlight within the shadow on the cat's neck; again, the brush is lightly dancing over the surface.

I feel that the background brush strokes seem a little harsh, so with a damp towel, I firmly rub some of the dried paint away to expose more of our lovely linen surface. Atelier Interactive will allow me to work in this way, something our standard acrylic will not do.

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Step 7: Adjustments

Whiskers are added, along with a soft feathered edge to the neck and chest. The ears are highlighted and we are now ready to contemplate the tones from a distance and complete any small corrections needed. I identify an area that I am not satisfied with; the colour is too dark under the cat's chin… time to do a swift change!

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The Finished Outcome

You will notice that the shadow colours have changed below the cat's neck; I felt that the previous colour was too close to that of the linen surface, so added a quick dash of light blue and soft yellow to lift and lighten this area. Another quick addition of a few more whiskers and hair highlights into the ears and we are complete, all done in just under one hour! The speed with which I have created this painting has enabled me to leave loose brush marks and to suggest detail, rather than to state it. If you have a tendency to overwork a piece, make yourself paint to a tight time limit, you soon learn to speed up and leave out the extraneous detail.

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About Jane Lazenby I am an established UK equestrian and animal artist based in Yorkshire. My work is concerned with the capture of light over form be it human, equine, canine or feline. I am primarily an acrylic artist, but I am confident using a wide variety of media. I first tried the Atelier Interactive acrylics in 2011, now they are my paint of choice! Thank you for joining me, I hope you find these techniques worthwhile and inspiring. See Jane Lazenby’s full profile at: www.ArtTutor.com/artists/Jane-Lazenby  

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