I warned myself about the temptation to step away and work on something else. It's a famous procrastinating move: when a deadline is looming, doing everything else seems like a better plan than doing THE THING you are supposed to be doing. It's a dirty trick.
The Rabbit Hole Artist Collective auction , which began today at 2pm on Facebook, was simply a "studio auction" - allowing us to sell off any pieces we had lying around our studios. I already planned to include "Creepy Charlie" and "Mrs Lovett", two paintings from last year that didn't attract much attention.
I wasn't obligated to paint anything new. I didn't have TIME to paint anything new.
Nevertheless, I succumbed yesterday. I lied to myself that a quick cat face painting (just the eyeballs and a bit of fur!) wouldn't take very long. I'll be done in under four hours, I promised to my inner voice.
I started by sketching out a set of eyes, and the bridge of a cat's nose. Then I decided to add a pair of reading glasses, to give the kitty some personality! After drawing the glasses, I looked at him and thought he resembled a certain wizard (*He who shall not be named due to copyrights*)... so I added a bolt-shaped black stripe on his forehead to mimic a scar. A cat named Harry.
Knowing that I had precious little time to devote to this painting, I scraped my usual method of painting in thin watery layers... and I just globbed that stuff onto the canvas.
I dislike using paint at full strength because it takes soooo long to dry (yes, even acrylics dry too slowly for my liking!), and any time you go over an area with the brush, to add more paint, it picks up the paint underneath.
My usual method (mixed with water) allows me to continue adding layers over layers, which I love, but although it dries faster, it still feels more time-consuming overall.
So I slapped paint on Harry's face, scumbled it around a bit with an old messy round brush, and started carving out fur with my liner brush.
God, how I hated that fur. Fur doesn't normally bother me - I mean, if it did, I wouldn't be painting CATS, right?? But I've been dealing with a flare-up of seasonal allergies, either in a loopy-headed Benadryl fatigue or suffering from fluids leaking from my eyes and nose, and it felt like torture to sit and paint fur for hours. Soooo many hours..... even though, in actuality, it was only one evening. :P
I went to bed last night (with Harry's eyes left undone), and the belief that my fur was a total mess and would need a do-over. The next morning, I re-evaluated the painting and decided it wasn't terrible. Just do the eyes and glasses, and be done with it! I had two hours to finish, and an hour to scan/edit/upload before the auction started.
I wish I could say something inspiring about the painting process, but I spent most of last night grumbling over ticked tabby fur. It never turns out the way I want. The next time I get an overwhelming urge to flirt with a deadline, I will paint a black or white cat instead.
There is something relaxing about blending colors in cats' eyes, though. I think their eyes are my favorite part.
I was going to give him green eyes, but as I studied my tabby Merlin's "green" eyes, I noticed they were half-green and half-gold. Of course, under the influence of Benadryl, Harry winds up with psychedelic rainbow eyes!! Did someone switch the medication in the box? The pills were pink. That's all I remember. :P
I was fortunate to have that extra hour to scan and edit, because after scanning at 600 dpi and moving into my Finished Files folder, I opened the file in Photoshop.... looked at it.... and realized that I'd forgotten Harry's whiskers!
Damn it, I *always* forget to paint their whiskers! I nearly uploaded him to the Facebook album WHISKERLESS! Horror.
Return to the table to paint a few whiskers.... shake, shake, shake to dry the canvas.... and back onto the scanner with him!
I had 10 minutes to spare. While I was uploading the images, my husband asked me to trim his hair before he left for work. I laughed maniacally. "I do not think you want me anywhere near your head with scissors today."
But I did my best, and he wore a hat to work. ;)