Most of my portraits begin as a snapshot, supplied by the customer. In this case, she felt this photo best demonstrated the pet's personality. It's unusual to include inanimate objects in a portrait, especially vibrant blue purses, but it's crucial in this case. We didn't want to show all of the other extraneous items, though, and I eliminated them from the completed portrait. I offered to draw the portrait in graphite instead of colored pencil, but she felt that the bright colors enhanced the cat's mischievous personality. Here are before and after pictures:
My goal was to keep the visual clutter to a minimum while still preserving the essence of the picture - a moment in time when the cat was in the bag.