In other news, I drew this in five seconds on a whiteboard and I'm weirdly fond of it, so much so that I haven't wanted to erase it even though it's taking up valuable space. Every time I look at it, I'm reminded of how much I like drawing eagles.
Anyway, onward to oil painting!
The request was: your interpretation of Madonna and child. No limits, no suggestions, no rules, do with it what you will. Anyone who's known me for more than five minutes will not be at all surprised to hear that my immediate thought was: cats, I'm going to paint cats.
Of course I did my research, looked up many a painting of Madonna and child, just to get some inspiration and a feel for what I'd like to do. If you'd like to see my favorites and the ones I found most inspiring, you can click here (Felice Torelli), here ( , and here (Gabriel Max and Murillo). This is the wibbly-wobbly first draft:
Here we have the third draft:
Vague clouds were added into the second draft, and strengthened here on the third because my eye was traveling up towards the sky and then over the edge of the canvas, never to return. The clouds bounce the eyes back to the cats, where they belong. While I may mess up cats and make them look weird, I do know that when constructing a painting you want the viewer's eyes to bounce around the canvas, easily, without effort, without thinking about it, and you want to focus the eyes on your keypoints, so on and so forth. Your painting ought to be fun to look at, maximize fun. That's kind of my go-to rule. Also, remember to measure your cats properly.
By the way, here's my reference picture!
You haven't seen the last of this painting, and it may very well look substantially different by the time I'm finished with it. We'll see!