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My Cat Being Painted

Image of my cat (coffee paint)

This is the painting of my cat, named ‘Pea’ in Thai, which means ‘Ghost’ in English. My dad named her out of a simple reason; she liked to pop up here and there to annoy other cats when she first came to our house. I decided to paint her after randomly scrolling down through photos on my phone. Then I was hypnotized to this one more than other photos even though it’s not the most colorful photo in the collection. It’s in fact, a black and white photo.

I remember taking this photo when I was walking down the walkway that links between my house and my aunt’s house. Pea followed me along with calm, confidence and trust as she always has. Although we also have many dogs and they are everywhere, she knows that she owns the place. She knows that those dogs respect her.

Image of my cat in black and white

Realising that she followed me, I turned back, captured the moment of her walking with her tail raising. With no prior expectation to take a very good photo, I happen to like it very much. Looking deeper into the details of the photo. She apparently stands out from the background which is dry leaves, overgrown grass, bamboos, cashew nut trees and the houses in the shadow. I love that those eyes are staring straight at me. I also love that she looks absolutely black here which makes her pale eyes even more captivating. Her gesture, even though it’s completely normal for a walking cat, it’s utterly beautiful to me. It’s so straight as well as her nice, long tail that other cats’ in my house cannot compare.

I started painting again for a reason, not only just a feeling of wanting to paint something. I wanted to revise my skills of creating artworks after several months of not practicing. I somehow believe that this will lead to something meaningful. After deciding to paint this photo, my initial intention was to simplify it as much as possible. I didn’t want to spend hours sketching every detail of those million leaves and my mysterious-looking houses behind the wall of bamboos. My focus was to solely interpret my cat through coffee painting on a paper in a way that still represents her character well.

Image of my cat being painted
Painting Pea

I started painting the background by brushing coffee on the paper in a snake shape, letting the nature of coffee do its own job when dry. Then I sketched my cat with a pencil. My mistake here was that the sketch was too dark, so when I started painting with coffee, it still left a clear hint of pencil sketching which annoys me. Once you paint coffee on top of it, when it dries, you have no way to erase it. I actually learned this before in the previous artwork, but I was way too impatient to lighten my sketch before painting. I prefer not to see the hint of a sketch on my paintings because personally, it looks purer and more natural.

You can tell that my painting skill is in such a baby level. I Iiterally have no fundamental skill in painting. I used to paint with watercolour and poster colour when I was in junior high school. That was long enough to make me forget everything. So I just let the coffee flow naturally. I tried to make some shadow, but it turned out to be weird dots on my cat’s fur.

Image of the 2 versions of my cat
The flow of coffee gives me joy.

However, this is one of my favourite artworks that I learned many things from. It makes me realise that there are possibilities if I want to go further in this field because it feels right when I do. I feel happy and inspired when I create my original art. And yes, it makes me miss my beautiful cat very much.

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