A dear friend asked if I would paint a portrait of her cats. I love to paint animals but it is very difficult to get them to hold still. So I generally go to the critter, when possible, and get to know it better. Animals, like people, all have personalities. I like to try to capture that in my work. In this case I took quite a number of reference photos because it became apparent that I would not be able to get all of the animals posed in one good shot. I took the photos all in the same room, under the same lighting conditions and then stitched the best ones together in Photoshop to create a composite. The hardest part about doing that is making sure that they are true to size, compared to the others. The other difficulty is that, no matter how good your camera is, the color in the photo is not always what is actually there in front of you. That's why it's so important to take notes and do studies. When it was almost done, my friend came and made a few suggestions, based on her knowledge of her own pets. I love the way the personalities came together.