Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Snow Leopard

This is my latest animal portrait and is of a snow leopard. These secretive and solitary animals live high in the mountains of Central Asia and are in danger of extinction as there are less than 10000, some say even fewer, and they are hunted for their fur. There are several hundred in zoos around the World but do we want so many of these endangered species just existing in zoos?



16 " x 12" Gerstaeker No.3 200gsm 

Initially I made a `careful, drawing, avoiding `super' realistic detail, with a mechanical Pentel 05 2B pencil. I concentrated  on the face and reduced the detail outside of this to just a hint. The paper is a cheap own label Great Art product. It is basic but seems to work quite well on subjects like this. I wouldn't recommend it for large washes or where much over painting is done.

With the snow leopard being portrayed in Winter this is inevitably a  very `cool' painting although I have tried to introduce a little warmer colour for balance. Colours used were mainly Cerulean and Moonglow (Daniel Smith) with Raw Umber and (very) diluted Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith PO49). There is a little Ivory Black (Maimeri) about the eyes, nose and lip areas. The eyes have some Gold Green (Rowney PY129) in the lower parts. There may be slight touches with one or two other shades. Since I photographed it I have added a little red to the eyes.

I have done several of these animal paintings recently and will now be turning to other subjects, although I like painting animals and birds and will continue to do so. Judging from the lack of comments - apart from spam increasing exponentially - the Rhino painting, which I was very pleased with, seems to have  created little interest, although well received on Facebook, including a nice comment from Trevor Lingard. I am a little disappointed although that's life! I know animal subjects aren't everyone's cup of tea (or coffee). As the February challenge is of Irises I shall be working on some simpler compositions of this flower and if good enough may post the results, prior to the actual challenge subject, which is a much more complicated group of irises. 

Coming up soon are posts on Quinacridones PO48/ PO49 and I will also be featuring the artist Cao Bei-An.





5 comments:

Ray Maclachlan said...

The face is fine Peter, excellent choice of colours, but I'm not sure about the background, or even if there should be one.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Ray. On the original photograph the background - apart from the body showing on the left hand side - very subdued - was a solid colour. I concentrated on the face and head and just hinted at the rest. I thought that was the way to go but.....

Mick Carney said...

Whenever you get the eyes right in a portrait it will work and you have. I think Ray has a point, the thing I find a little distracting is the shoulder to the left of the face, Is that a pencil line hardening the edge? Having said that I return to the eyes and they are convincing.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Mick. I've erased that shoulder pencil line and while it didn't bother me much I think it is an improvement.