Drama on Canvas: Capturing Kodos in Paint

In this blog post, I am sharing with you the step-by-step process as I painted a portrait of Kodos the cat, capturing drama on canvas.

Kodos Progress

Drama on Canvas

The owner and I selected a photograph of Kodos (on the left above) with a unique pose full of drama that would translate well to canvas. In the middle above is the sketch I made to begin the process. On the right is the wash which defines the areas of dark and light for the final painting.


This photograph and the resulting painting is a perfect example of the artistic device called foreshortening. During the Renaissance in Florence in the 1400’s a new technique of painting called foreshortening was first used to present dramatic perspective. Up to this time painters were not concerned with realism in art. Painting did not have the depth that we have now grown accustomed to.

As a pet portrait painter I am constantly using techniques to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface in a way that looks natural and realistic. Foreshortening occurs when an object appears compressed when seen from a particular viewpoint. The effect of this perspective causes distortion. Foreshortening is a particularly effective artistic device used to give the impression of three-dimensional volume and create drama in a painting.

Final Portrait

What do you think of the final portrait of Kodos?

3 thoughts on “Drama on Canvas: Capturing Kodos in Paint

    1. Sorry, Kathy! I thought I had responded to this!

      Yes, foreshortening is really an interesting effect, especially when painting pets and people! But Kodos does have big paws too!

      Thank you for commenting!

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