Painting animals in acrylic by Sonia Bacchus


For her animal paintings, Sonia likes to start with a sketch/study. For moving animals such as horses she tries to capture movement using quick pencil sketches whereas for more sedentary subjects she often uses acrylics or watercolours.

For this demonstration she brought along a number of animal photographs for the audience to choose from, a cat being selected by a show of hands.

Sonia likes to paint on a mid-toned background and this time she chose medium gray coloured fine grained cardboard which was taped to a board. She also used the same surface for her palette. When using thin paint or glazes it is useful because the colour mixed on the palette undergoes no change when applied to the painting.

The cat's head was drawn directly with a brush using a dark gray colour made by mixingf ultramarine and brown.

Using a large flat brush, the dark gray backgound was loosely applied.

Some brown colour was then loosely applied to the top of the cat's body and a little colour applied to the nose and eyes

Some medium gray colour was applied to the face and some dark gray, almost black loose brush strokes added to the fur on the cat's chest.

Some almost white colour was added to the body fur and some pale pink applied to the ears.

This was followed by a continuous refinement process, blending and softening in some areas but improving detail in the cat's facial features - using a rigger brush to add the cat's whiskers

The finished demonstration

Close up detail of the face

An other excellent demonstration from Sonia which was greatly appreciated.