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Forum Home > General Discussion > How to paint a Himalayan Kitty on a Leaf

Vicki Veldman
Site Owner
Posts: 2

It's amazing, but leaves are much more durable than you may think.  Find a seasoned leaf.  If it's dry, but in perfect condition, fill your sink with water and let it soak (add a bit of bleach to make sure there isn't any mold....it's a concern in this area).  It doesn't take long, only about 20 minutes or so and pat dry with a paper towel being sure not to tear it.  They are fragile when wet.

Next, find the biggest, most obnoxious phone book you can find, open it up to about the middle page, gingerly insert your leaf (be sure it's absolutely flat as well as the tips) and close the book carefully.  Forget about it for about a month.  When you open it ...you have a beautifully flattened painting surface.


I know, you're saying, "Lavender to start with?".  It really makes a nice background for sable or white animals.  I know....don't ask me...but it works rather well.


I have roughed in where the eyes, nose and mouth will be.  When doing this part of the painting, I usually will put the eyes one third of the way down from the top and placed to give you room for the nose and mouth at the bottom.  I always position the nose from the inside corners of the eyes.  Use them for reference.  It's not EXACTLY down from the inside corner, but like I said, use it for reference to see just how far down, and how far over the side of the nose is.


I have roughed in where the darker shades of the kitty's fur will be. 


I've put a warm brown wash around the roughed in black.  This will give warm tones to the lighter colors that you're going to add later.



I've just started the base color of the eyes.  I chose the darkest color that I could see in the picture that I have just to give me an idea of where to start.


I'm adding a bit of flesh colored paint to the fur around the black fur of the face and under the chin.


Add white highlights to the fur by keeping in mind where your light source is coming from, where the longer hair is, and where the shadows are. Himalayans have sort of a soft orangy brown undertone to their fur. You have to be a bit frugal with white, but add enough to make it "sparkle".




When you are adding color to an eye, try not to just dob it in.  Use small strokes toward the pupil of the eye from the outside of the eye.  Look closely at your dog or cats eyes and you can see the little lines I'm talking about.


I'm an artist...not a photographer LOL!!  I tried as best I could to show where I had added a bit more highlight.  


Adding a reflection of light to the opposite side of the eye.


Keep in mind that you are going to add a "spot" of light to show the light source.  Always highlight the opposite side of the eye, or iris with a lighter color to give the eye a transparent look.


Adding the pupil.  There is a trick that I have learned to give the illusion of the subject looking directly at you no matter where you are.  If you place the pupil so that it is directly centered to the tilt of the head and the bottom of the iris, you will have success.  Work with it a bit.


Both eyes have been finished.  Now you're  ready for any highlighting or shadowing that you would like to add.


Here Is the finished leaf painting:


February 20, 2010 at 9:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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