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I have tried a new paper, once again. I ordered it through my friend, Dissengallery Blog’s  art store located in her blogroll.  The paper is another Cartiera Magnani and is described as “Toscana acquerello”. It is 140 lb. rough paper. I have tried the 140 lb coldpressed here , here and here. Once again, I am impressed with it’s brightness and how the color is magnified.  I like these papers, very much, for quick watercolor sketches where many layers are not applied. The surface is a little harder and the pigment lays more on top allowing for scumbling and shaping the image. I approach these paintings much like I do a drawing only with a brush. I like the wet look it offers when washes meet washes evidenced here by the dark area that the cat is peering into. The foliage was rendered by my applying a flat wash of green and yellow, allowing it to dry and then painting in a camouflage-like pattern using darker green and burnt sienna.  After that pattern dried, I went back in with a wet brush and scumbled those colors around and into one another taking care not to disturb the pattern completely. I painted the cat much like a drawing and toned her, first, with a staining wash of blue and then added the color.  This is not to say that the paper can not be pushed furthur. I have pushed the cold pressed furthur here. I found that I had to plan the colors well as I knew I would pick up the previous layer with subsequent ones.

The pad is small, 9 x 12, and I usually don’t work smaller than 12 x 16, so I will reserve this paper for small compositions and portraits of this nature. It is a nice activity from my larger paintings.

It is important to note that I receive no compensation for sharing my experiences with this paper. It is purely my views and what I experience using the skills I have acquired.


  1. You captured the movements and muscles of a cat beautifully. Nice contrast between the colors of the tabby and the colors of the wood!

    • Thank-you, Bree. I was hoping the blues would pop that kitty forward.

  2. First of all, I’m glad you don’t charge for your experience and sharing of information, because I would owe you a fortune!
    This is a beautiful painting, with amazing colors and wonder.

    • Thanks, Ryan. I learn from watching what you do, also, so I figure we are trading in a different form of currency! 🙂 Truly, thank-you for saying so.

  3. Absolutely beautiful. I went back and looked at the paintings referenced in your post. All of these paintings have gorgeous color. I am amazed by the results…the colors just pop. And thank you for all of the detail about your process. I always learn something new when I read your posts!

    • Thank-you, Linda. The vibrancy of the color, I think, has to do with the paper and the fact that I am not layering to get a rich tone. Beyond that I don’t know why they are so vibrant.

  4. its certainly given your work a lighter edge.
    Cool cat

    • The lighter, I believe, is this paper. Thanks for the comment, Kokot.

  5. Wow! I dare say this is one of your best! Its just gorgeous! The contrast in the foreground really works. The cat is positively fluid. The orange against the blue is nice! I want to rub his ears.

    • Thank-you, Jay. I guess I’m going to have to do more on these papers. This seemed to pair the drawing with the painting process really well. The only thing I don’t like is the mini-size of the format.

  6. Such a plethora of texture! The white is striking. This piece is a study of contrast; light/dark, crisp/illusive, small pattern/large pattern.

    Good job!

  7. Looks like our cat when it was younger. Now he’s heavier and doesn’t go out side at all.

    Does the paper come in a heavier weight? I like to use 300lb.

    • I just looked on line and can not find rough. Jerry’s Artarama sells large 275 lb hot press and cold press sheets 22″ x 30″.

  8. Leslie, this is one of my favorites. That cat looks like it’s going to slink over the log and right off the page.

    She’s (he?) a beauty.

    • Thank-you, Carol. I don’t know if this is a he or she. This was a photo reference from the artist WetCanvas site.

  9. Leslie, this is such a beautiful painting! I can’t quit looking at that cat! There is such roundness and softness to her. Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

    • Thanks, Beth. I know I had to draw her accurately to get that curvey shape but I swear this paper, if handled properly, gives this glow. I see it in the coldpress paper also.

  10. What a beautiful painting! Your cat is so graceful and curious, so much a CAT, if it makes sense. We have a cat living with us and allowing us to serve her. In return we are permitted to observe and admire her when it suits her. The graceful movement of your cat is so true to life!

    • Thank-you, Alex. They are the boss, aren’t they? I found this on wet canvas and liked that it told a story.

  11. Aww, I love cats and kittens! I’m a cat person for sure. They’re just little wild animals to me… especially Leroy, our little kitty who looks kind of like the above painting! This is the kind of painting of cats that I like. 😀 Thank you!

    • Does Leoy like to hunt? Is he a yellow tabby? Thank-you for your lovely comment, Tacy. 🙂

      • He is an orange tabby, yes. He is strictly an indoor cat, but he does “hunt” his stuffed animals like crazy. He stalks them, he crouches down, he pounces, sometimes he makes this weird growling sound! He even attacks us sometimes. He’ll hide and jump out, or just attack. He also has a habit of sitting in front of doors. Here I go telling my stories again, though! 🙂 Thank you too, Leslie.

      • I can envision him! Sounds like a great cat buddy complete with entertainment!

  12. A beautiful painting. Thanks, Leslie

  13. I always love cats!

    • Thank-you, Jingle. I am truly honored. I have recently awarded and thanked and will do so in the future, I promise, but I am finding it hard to blog and award all at the same time.

  14. Gosh. I love the strengh in this cat. So relaxed, yet I can feel the muscles and power in his body. And the intensity of the stare. Again You amaze me. Beautiful. Thank You and Namaste. 🙂

    • Thanks, Bliss! There is something of the life of a cat in this, perhaps. I think he is in his element at the moment. 🙂

        • blissbait
        • Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:01 am
        • Permalink

        I think my favourite thing about cats is that they ALWAYS seem to be in their element, even when they’re not. Such an amazing sense of entitlement they have!!! They always astound me in a great way! I hope You’re having a lovely day. Namaste. 🙂

  15. I love this rendition of cat, Leslie. To me, it aptly portrays the curiosity of the cat.

  16. Wooow.This is something really nice,Leslie.
    I like animals a lot.
    You’ve surprised very good the moves of the little cat 😉
    Great work as always.
    Hmm…i’m wondering now what surprise you have again for us? 😀

    Enjoy the moment,my dear friend! 🙂

    • Thanks, Alina. I know surprises, surprises. Even I don’t know what I’m going to be attracted to next.

  17. I don’t know how I missed this painting Leslie. I’m adding you to my links. I love the way the viewer can really zoom into your work (and can even see the differences in the paper values). What I like best about the cat is lazy stretching lolling stance that you have captured in its form. Like it’s not really bothered….but you know that it could pounce at any time! The colours are wonderful – especially the rustiness in the blue. Great work as usual!

    • Thank-you, Lynda. I had a good tutor who showed me how to get my images to look like the real painting. By the way, I sent your sand castles post to family of mine who are going to Florida, soon, and encouraged them to try their hand at it, LOL! 🙂 Loved that post.

  18. I like the position you decided to put the cat in. It’s much different then you would normally see.

    • I can’t take credit for the cat’s position as that is the way the reference photo was. BUT!…..I chose that image because of the interesting shapes and the story told by this hunting cat.

  19. Hi Leslie. Oh the light on this tabby warmed me so! Such a day of teasing warmth and now chilling fast here. A warm tabby cat lapper would be sooo welcome.

    • Hi Eva! Thank-you. The light is this paper. I don’t get that brightness from my Arches 140lb on a block.
      We are warming up here a little. Supposed to be in low 40’s for the week-end.

  20. Oh this cat is so real !! You are amazing ! I could just reach out and pet it !

    • Thank-you, Isabelle. This was one of those where the subject material came very easy. I like “easy” once in awhile.

  21. just beautiful Leslie, somehow the subtle light and subtle movements of the cat work brilliantly. as for the highland cattle, they always give me the impression that they are very umimpressed by me: they look up from grazing, stare a few minutes and then return to grazing:) i then walk away with head bowed.

    • Thank-you, Rahina. I loved the reference for this and I think that is part of helping an artist portray what they see. Those cows……love those hairy cows!

  22. Great pose, Leslie.

    • Thanks, Kay. I can’t take credit for the cat pose as it was a wonderful photo reference from wet canvas. Can only take credit for what I did with it.

  23. I love how bright the colors are in this one, and the blue does make the cat “pop.” Paper or choice of colors or both, this works really well with this subject, Leslie!

    • Thank-you so much, Kate. I definitely believe this paper, if not layered throws out this bright light I was able to achieve, here. The other thing I like about the paper is that it makes me plan out my colors and composition more as I can not layer much.

  24. Simply awesome. it reminded me of my cat, he too loves to look at his own reflection in water. i dont know what goes in his tiny mind but he stares at it till i scoop him up and remove from there.

    I have a small award for you, please collect it from my blog: and make me very, very happy.
    With warmest wishes,

    • Thank-you, Trisha! My last cat was one of my best friends as well as entertaining and fun to watch.

  25. if yours is Toscana acquerello, my paper is bright-white multipurpose office. gets the job done. I always liked the texture of watercolor paper 🙂

    • Hi Otto of the tank brigade :). I think you do great on bright-white multipurpose office paper! Otto wouldn’t look the same on rough watercolor paper. It could trip him up and we wouldn’t want that!

  26. This is awesome. 🙂 I hope you don’t mind if I link your blog to mine. I’d like to see more of your paintings. 🙂

    • Thank-you for your visit and your kind comment. Have you read “House of Sand and Fog”, yet? You are finding incredible books to read at that bookstore you found! I am honored that anyone link to me.

      • I have just started and I’m finding it so sad already. It’s an intense book.

        And it is my honor to add you on my page! 🙂

  27. Oh my!!! This Cat is so cute!!!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By New Blog Banner « Shiteki Na Usagi on 02 Mar 2010 at 10:47 pm

    […] that went into creation of each piece.  Some of my recent favorite ones are:  a griffin, a yellow tabby, and some adorable potato heads. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Hello […]

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