Foursome of friendly felines completed well ahead of the big day.


I loved painting big eyes and different features of this foursome of felines and achieving the results that the client wanted. The reference photos convey that degree of catitude that we all love don't they? I always seek to capture the animal's personality in my portraits, and the photos are important as I look for details that are unique to each pet.

First steps in painting wood slices.

A glaze is the first step in painting wood to protect against discoloration. My favourite product is Golden Gloss Medium which can be used to protect against SID (support induced discoloration).

Once these coats are dry and lightly sanded, I follow with a coat or two of clear gesso. I use gesso on all substrates, even paper. Acrylic paint is easier to work with when I have applied a few coats of gesso. For floral backgrounds, I often tint white gesso with red or blue. If you have been following me for a while, you know I experiment all the time.

Freezer paper in the art room.

To begin, sketches are done on freezer paper. Although this looks like waxed paper, it isn’t. Freezer paper is coated with plastic on only one side and it is a staple in my art room. Wax paper would not work the same way because it is coated on two sides with wax.

Sletching on freezer paper by Louise Primeau
Freezer paper sketches

Freezer paper is useful and versatile in the art room!

For example, I use it as a palette especially when I want to save the paint on the palette for collage. Sometimes I smoosh it and (very technical term) dab colours on the background.

Freezer paper works marvellously for gelli printing and I have stack of prints waiting to be used up in different ways. In this instance I sketch the first impression of each cat and then to transfer it to the wood slice. I learned from experience that it is easier this way than starting on the wood slice and reworking the sketch on wood.

Afterwards, it is a matter of comparing the reference photos as I progress through the portrait all while staying in contact with the client.

In this instance, the client wanted specific colours as background and so I swatched until we found the ones that worked.



Match the painted cat to the original reference photo.

Reference photos

Top left clockwise: Poindexter, Spencer, Jasper, Sneaks


Top left clockwise: Spencer, Jasper, Poindexter, Sneaks

Other Christmas wood slice portraits.

Crazy Choir Cat Christmas Ornament painted in 2022

Lacey’s pet portrait painted in 2020.

Christmas Comes Early…(2019).

Three Feline Amigos (2019).

Tekel’s sly look (2019).

A Sheltie and Shih-Tzu/Maltese painted in 2018 is a Pinterest favourite.

I am accepting limited commissions starting in January 2024.

Add your name to my list to have your favourite four-legged companion painted by me in the new year.

Clear, well-lit photos are required for larger portraits.

Visit my website...I paint florals, birds, Canadiana....some works of art are still available.

I would love to hear from you!  Contact me here.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *