Saturday, May 2, 2015



Gigi © 2015 Karen Mathison Schmidt
8 x 8 x ¾ inches • oil on ¾" cradled GessobordTM
private collection • Seminole, Florida

Here’s Gigi, a big Siamese cat, princess of the household at my husband’s parents’ in Fairfield, California. “Gigi” comes from “G.G.” which stands for “Good Girl,” although according to my Mom-in-law she sometimes thinks they should have named her “Bee-Gee” instead!

Here are my work-in-progress photos:

The underpainting in acrylic glazes of cadmium yellow light, phthalo blue, quinacrodone fuchsia and pink madder.

 After the underpainting is good and dry (about 20 minutes) I start with the oil paints. Oops! I made her nose a bit too long …

 … so I shortened it a bit here. I’m not using black on my palette, so these dark areas of Gigi’s face are dioxanine purple, permanent mauve, permanent magenta, French ultramarine, cerulean blue, Caribbean blue, and sometimes a bit of permanent madder light.

 Between the last photo and this one, I made a tiny adjustment to her right eye (the one on the left in the painting) so she’s looking right at us.

Impressionism is so interesting to me. I find it fascinating how just a few little dabs of paint make our brains go, “oh, she has a jingle bell hanging on her collar.”

Happy Painting!

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