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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Tanner portrait in progress 1

Started a new portrait of Tanner, an orange cat, for loving owner Tammie Wolf.

First I created a detailed sketch on a very special sheet of Canson paper I’ve been saving. It is “Sepia” (color) Canson paper, but I have two sheets that are several shades lighter than Canson’s usual Sepia. I think it must have been an anomaly in the paper-making process. Canson is a company in France that has been making papers for 500 years. Canson art papers are “dyed in the pulp” which means the color is added to the wet pulp used to make the paper….before it’s even a sheet of paper. So I can’t imagine how this lighter Sepia paper happened. I have been hoarding the two sheets I have, since I will never find another like it. I’m using one of them for Tanner’s portrait - it perfectly matches the bedding colors in Tammie’s photo. And really sets off Tanner’s orange coat.

Today was my first day sitting down at my worktable on Tanner’s portrait. As always, the pencil colors I’m using are on a sheet of paper above the artwork, with swatches of those colors on the same paper I’m working on, next to them. I sacrificed a strip of this unusual paper by cutting a strip off the top of the sheet, since this will be a wide horizontal portrait. Much wider than tall. Tammie’s photo of Tanner is in front of me on the monitor.

Prismacolor pencil portrait of cat in progress in Kevin Roeckl's art studio

It was a beautiful summer day for working in the studio with the window open.

Here is the result of the first days’ work in the studio.

My concept for this portrait is to do the bedclothes very loose - big gestural pencil-strokes to indicate the lines of the folds - with Tanner’s sweet little face in tight detail. This pic is too small to see much of what I mean by “big gestural strokes”….you can see it a bit on the left edge of the artwork. You will see more of that in tomorrow’s work.

Colored pencil portrait of cat in bedding, on Canson paper, in progress

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