Still mourning the loss of her beloved pet cats, Sherman and Maynard, the client wanted them together in a final pastel portrait. She had many photo references, so we chose particular faces, and I chose the body positions and background.
Because the client didn't know exactly how she wanted the pair on the page, I drew up thumbnail sketches in black and white. From these photos, you can see that I interchanged paws from two different photos. If I'm putting two different subjects in one painting, I like to have the subjects in the same lighting. For example, the cats were both photographed indoors, so the lighting will be consistent.
When we got the poses down, I sketched another thumbnail in the exact colors I would be using, and positioned the cats on the page, scaled down to 5"x7". Note: when I draw/paint a thumbnail sketch, I concentrate on composition, colors, position on canvas/paper. I don't spend time with "likeness" of subject.
When she approved of the thumbnail, I got started on the final. I used a sanded paper, covered it all with pastels. I used a variety of brands including Rembrandt, Unison, Sennelier, Mount Vision.
Dimensions: 11" x 14"