Monthly Archives: April 2014

Leopard—Under Construction

As you can tell from browsing my web site, I love wild animals…particularly big cats. I’ve recently begun work on a 16” x 20” watercolor of this beautiful leopard. The huge tree the leopard is climbing down provides a wonderful composition that mirrors the beautiful features of the leopard’s body.

Leopard – Unfinished painting shown at full size.

Jaguars and leopards look very similar, but the jaguar is a little stockier and has a black spot inside each of the black and gold rosettes on its fur. Leopards, by contrast, have the rosettes but no black spot inside, and they have a somewhat slimmer build and face.

Leopard – Unfinished closeup showing more detail of leopard’s body.

My goal with this painting is to capture the direct stare of this fascinating animal. He seems to be looking directly at the viewer. There are a lot of spots and tree bark to paint, but I hope the final product warrants the time. Please check back to see the finished painting…hopefully in the next couple of weeks. Note: I used a reference photograph taken by Dr. Eric Gurwin, an ophthalmologist and extremely talented photographer who took the photograph on a recent wildlife safari to Africa.

Hidden In The Tree

For wildlife, finding food and water in the Southwest desert is a constant search. Over the years I’ve lived in the desert I’ve always put out a little bird seed and watering pans to help ease that struggle. One of the visitors to the water pans are sharp shinned hawks that like to splash in the water to cool off and take a little “shower”. The one I chose to paint is a frequent visitor that takes his shower and then flies into a nearby tree to shake the water off his feathers, do a little preening, and dry off before flying away.

This hawk is about a foot long and with maroon coloring on his chest and a slate gray color on his back with rust-colored barring on his feathers. Unfortunately, he will sometimes attack a nearby dove or quail. This is not a pleasant thing to see but, it is all part of nature’s cycle. These hawks tend to leave our area during the spring, but return during the cooler winter months. They are stately birds of prey, and exciting to see and paint.