My latest portrait is of two cats named Calpe and Capri. These sweet siblings were indeed named for real-life locales, and this portrait is set on the island of Capri, Italy.
Once a rough composition was planned out and agreed upon, I set out to 'get to know' the cats. I do this by sketching them. These sketches are just for me to take a little time to get familiar with the individual that I am drawing before I go into the actual portrait. I sketch freehand, by sight. Because of this, the sketch often looks fundamentally different than the photo, even though I work painstakingly when sketching the anatomy and likeness of the animal. My real intent is to capture the essence of the cat's gesture and personality. I strive to capture an unmistakable intangible quality, a glimmer of the essence of the spirit of the animal.
This is Calpe, the older brother. He's the bigger cat. He is large and in charge.
Here is Calpi, the little sister. She is little and oh so cute!