As an artist, I paint and sculpt custom cat portraits for a living. In 2022 I painted and sculpted quite a few custom kitties for my customers so I thought it would be nice to show a few of them in a recap. I’ll list 10 ceramics cat portraits. For the watercolor cat portrait painted earlier, there’s a full blog article with steps that you can read.
Custom cat portraits are often ordered by the cat owner themselves. Sometimes it’s asked by a family member or a partner to the cat owner, it’s actually a great gift for a cat loving spouse or friend. Some of the kitties I sculpt are still with us but some sculptures are memorial for a loved pet. Either way, cat custom figurines are always sculpted with love and in my own style. I make them extra cute and try and stay true to the details provided by the customer. So let’s browse through 10 cute cat portraits I enjoyed creating this year.
1 – A Black and White Custom Cat Figurine
Henry is a lovely little loaf with a very particular pattern. With tuxedo and black \ white cats the trick is to really focus on the shapes of each spot from a few different point of view.
2 – A Cat Portrait as a Custom Pendant
Cat portraits as pendants are a whole other level of detailing. They need to be as small as a jewel and as detailed as possible in order to be recognizable and legible. I often do a small black dots for the eyes, except in the case of cats who always get their lovely agate eyes in colors. Which is even more tricky on a pendant than on a figurine. This cat pendant had another layer of complexity because my customer asked that he was in his favorite sweater. Which I found extremely cute and had to do ^^
3 – Custom Cat Portrait Trio
I absolutely loved taking care of this particular order. It’s a cat trio meant to stay together. These cats were all part of a memorial piece and I really had fun finding out which pose would work well together. I had a few requests from my customer and I had a lot of free space to create a dynamic piece. I wanted the cats to interact as if they were in different parts of the house or in a cat tree, on different levels.
4 – Custom Cat Portrait Jewelry Tray
This was a lovely unusual request, my customer wanted her custom cat portrait on a jewelry tray. The jewelry tray pieces have a pendant sized sculpture on them. This little cat was not an easy one to paint because it’s a color point. In ceramics, gradients are quite hard to manage with underglazes so I was very glad with how it came out.
5 – Black Cat Portrait Figurine
Black cats might seem like an easy thing to sculpt and paint as a ceramics figurine but they really aren’t. The challenge here is sculpting while thinking about the silhouette more than the tiny details that might get lost in the deep black that I use. So the eyes and nose lines become really important, as well as toe beans. For the black cat portraits I really like to add gold and pearl luster to add more detail to the piece.
6 – A sleepy portrait of a flame point cat
Flame points as well as any color point is tricky because of the color gradient of the kitty’s fur. They’re often more ivory than white too, which adds to the complexity of this coat color. I rarely sculpt cats in a curled up sleepy position so this one is special. I really liked how sweet and cuddly it turned out. There is a gold highlight patter as well as pearl on this piece, making it extra special.
7 – A fun pose
If a customer sends me a request with a fun pose in the photo references, chances are I will use it ! I love sculpting active, unusual poses and it makes for an even more original gift. This little cat had both a lovely color being a color point tabby with lovely markings, and a great range of poses.
8 – Symbolic Cat Figurine
Sometimes, a reminder of what was just isn’t enough. Some of my customers really have a deep connection with their cat and this was the case for this memorial portrait of Mushu. This cat had a dragon’s name so her owner asked for a sleeping cat in a galaxy coat with the dragon constellation on it’s body. The constellation is in 22k gold luster and the blue green glaze is a special effect that I get with layering two different glazes. It’s a very special cat portrait.
8 – A cat in a Box
This cat loves boxes so much it had to be included in the portrait ! It’s a pretty grey tabby that I enjoyed painting. The box is in red clay that’s left unglazed so that it doesn’t let the cat slip. It also provides a nice texture difference and helps break the shiny glaze effect.
The cat and the box are separated so one can put the cat in the box or just let it rest on a cute shelf by itself.
9 – A cat portrait with a shoe
This cat portrait is also a memorial piece for a loved cat who liked smelly shoes. This was not asked in the initial commission brief but learning about this detail, I had to add the shoe ! Some things are just too special to miss.
10 – Two kitties cuddling as a pendant
This was also a very special piece because it’s a pendant with not one but two cats ! These two always snuggle together and one had a missing leg, which is also missing in the pendant.
That’s it for this year in 10 custom cat portraits ! There’s a wide variety of cat portraits that I can achieve in porcelain. They can be cute, reminding little trinkets of the love you have for your cat. They can be symbolic as well as decorative, or be used as a pendant.
I can also create a resting place for your cat’s ashes, I recently started making Ceramics Pet Memorial Urns.
What’s next ? Probably Cat Bowls ^^