I painted the image in gesso first of all. I then painted a single coat of black acrylic over the top. Using sandpaper I then rubbed away at the whole piece hoping that something resembling a cat in an alley would be revealed. Thankfully it worked so I continued to add more detail and scratch away as needed. The original photograph that I worked from was of a poor little kitten alone in a back street in Greece. His mother was nearby and I expect lots of tourists fed him well so perhaps he wasn't so poor after all.