Boson in his Prime

Boson is one of my beloved cats who is now in old age and suffering from a variety of maladies.  I don’t know which he considers most burdensome, but the one that I feel worst about on his account is the blindness that has come over him recently.  When I ran across a photo I had taken of him in his prime, painting a portrait from it seemed like the obvious thing to do.

By the way, “boson” is the name of two of the many kinds of sub-atomic particles.  The boson comes in two varieties, “strong” and “weak.”  Bosie is named after the strong boson, and I often call him “Boson the Brave.”  He has always been a good friend to me and the other cats as well as a care-giver when circumstances warranted it.

I forgot to take a photo of the painting after the first stage, but there wasn’t much to it – just blocking in the basic colors.  By the way, this is oil (part of the October Challenge) on an 8″ x 10″ primed stretched canvas.

Before I began with the oils, I under-coated with acrylic – mauve for the background and yellow ochre for the cat – then transferred my drawing.  I chose mauve for the background because I thought I saw purple in Bosie’s gray fur.  I tried to mix a gray of purple and yellow for the first oil layer, but it didn’t work very well.

This photo is after the second painting session.  Here my grays are mixtures of Van Dyke Brown, French Ultramarine, and Titanium White.  You may notice yellowish lines between some of the main blocks of color.  During the first painting session, I kept my graphite lines by painting up to, but not over them, leaving about a 1/16″ channel of the acrylic background color showing.  I didn’t want to overlap the oil colors because I didn’t want to blend the colors.  Later, I’ll (hopefully) paint tiny hairs across the color edges.   

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