"They made their grand entrance together, but Miss Ginger Kitty and Rex had fought like cats and dogs all day. They would make their peace later, but for now Rex was only interested in showing off his new Arrow collar and nibbling on imported biscuits with the retrievers from Good Dog Park. It was no matter to Ginger. She had already made eye contact with a svelte American Shorthair standing near the ice sculpture. "
“Grand Entrance” is a painting I created to be auctioned at Pawcasso 2013 to benefit our local spay and neuter clinic, SANS. It's based on a painting by J. C. Leyendecker that was part of an ad campaign for Arrow collars in the early 1930's.
Pawcasso has grown quite a bit over the past 7 years and, while it's not necessarily black-tie, I really wanted to portray the essence of the elegant event it has become. Leyendecker's “Couple Descending Staircase” seemed like the perfect fit.
I started out with a rough sketch and a sheet of photo reference to work from. I did a black outline in acrylic paint on Gessobord.
Sketching out the scene was fun and even kind of relaxing. I was really happy to be getting back into a bigger painting. But the whole time I was working on it, I was pretty sure that painting the staircase might kill me. So I started out with the black background to ease into it. Then I worked on the cat. By the time I got to the staircase, I was pretty nervous about it, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.
As always, I had lots of studio helpers assisting me. I don't have pictures of the cat helpers this time, but I promise you, they were there.
I ended up doing the chandelier last. Once I worked out how to do the staircase, I figured I could handle the chandelier.
Here I have the tassel on the chandelier in red, but I didn't like it. I changed it to a gold color.
And here is the finished product, framed by Tarn's Place with my Valentine's Day flowers!