This oil painting started out small and on canvas paper but it wasn't looking or feeling right and so it eventually led to painting on a 18 x 24 inch stretched canvas. All I had was a head/shoulders reference for Asia. Anything else I've added or will add as the painting progresses. I like Asia's round head and intense mint-green eyes. Asia's name is what suggested the evolving background and rich warm colors to go with this nearly all black cat (just a patch of white on her throat.)
My thoughts at this stage is to incorporate some sort of geometric design into the red surface the cat and vase are resting on. Several of Gustav Klimt's works come to mind as inspiration. Maybe this is the painting I will decide to try affixing some gold leafing to some of the decorative elements.
The detail image below shows some of the facial structure that is visible to the viewer's eye but not picked up very well by the camera and the the lighting conditions when the photo was taken. This will be a difficult painting to photograph once it is completed.