Wednesday, 13 August 2014

FINISHED *Snow Leopard Painting*

Presenting ' CAVE DANGER ' snow leopard cub


' CAVE DANGER ' snow leopard watercolour painting
original 12" x 8"  

Finally here is the high resolution scan of my latest snow leopard cub painting! Strangely, this is actually the first painting I've done where the subject is staring out at the viewer. I wanted to portray a hidden vulnerable cub but also a youngster eager to explore, therefore her body is half in the shade and half peering out towards the light. This also balanced the light and shade of the composition beside the strong diagonal and shaping. I didn't want any detailing attracting away from the cubs gaze so the rock face and interior cave have a more impressionistic approach. I pushed the paper to the limits of wet on wet, manipulating the watercolours granulation effects and stains, creating a mottled appearance suiting the rough rock face perfectly!

I used a very limited colour palette hoping this would reflect the harsh conditions for a wild snow leopard, as always my favourite big cat! Thanks for reading :) Jules

Thank you Mikion for kind use of your fantastic photography

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

NEW snow leopard cub painting



This is a close-up snippet of my recently finished snow leopard cub painting, I will upload the complete picture very soon! Hope you are all well :) Jules

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

INTERNATIONAL TIGER DAY 2014



Tigers have been declining rapidly over the last 100 years, with 97% of wild tigers being lost in the last 100 years. At present, as few as 3,200 tigers remain in the wild! Protect tigers now!

This is an older painting of a Sumatran tiger, please support Tigers in the wild, so that future generations can love and admire their magnificence and natural beauty, and see that we did all we could to protect and save the species!!!

Monday, 12 May 2014

NEW tiger painting

This is the very early stages of my latest painting. Here I have mapped out my composition and have sketched in the tigers with my paintbrush, thus far keeping a loose approach in case I want to alter anything!



The 'white' of the picture will act as the light path through the scene, this will stay as close to the original white of the paper as possible without interference. I have painted the tiger stripes to mirror some of the shaping in the picture as they would in the wild. The natural camouflage for a tiger is imperative to it's survival, allowing it to stalk prey in long grasses successfully and hide when necessary. The initial background wash faintly indicates further back trees and surround, in areas this will also be painted upon with stronger colour and detailing. The final picture may look like it was painted with a limited colour range however I may use more colours where necessary, with a dynamic back-lit halo around the tigers! I am hoping to achieve a good depth of field in the picture, with some strong visible detailing and areas of subtle persuasion for your mind to complete the scene :) I hope you enjoy following! Jules

Saturday, 12 April 2014

FINISHED *Mountain Lion painting*

Presenting ' THE HUNTED ' mountain lion / puma / cougar / panther


' THE HUNTED ' mountain lion watercolour painting
original 12" x 4" 

I was going through my portfolio and remembered this mountain lion painting I started 2 years ago! My heart was never completely in it at the time, but I had a sudden urge to complete him. I decided to crop the initial painting to just the eyes, drawing attention to the power and poise of the mountain cat. I hope you like the new outcome, I am much happier with this crop and think it captures strength and uncertainty.

This mountain lion may have his eyes fixed on his next hunt, but who is hunting who? Habitat destruction, roadkill, poaching, poisoning and primarily trophy hunters are killing more mountain lions today than at any other time in our nation's history. Wildlife biologists know mountain lions are vital and invaluable. They are a keystone species playing an irreplaceable and complex role on the landscape, existing in low densities and are self-regulating which means they control their own population size in balance with the ecosystem without the need for human intervention. Why would one kill something so magnificent and call it a trophy?

Thank you Steve Tracy for allowing use of your lovely reference :) Jules

Thursday, 10 April 2014

FINISHED *Black Jaguar painting*

Presenting ' NOIR ' black jaguar


' NOIR ' black jaguar watercolour painting
original 7.5" x 4.5"

...and FINALLY here is my black jaguar painting all completed! I decided on a slightly different crop from my initial ideas which I think works well for the intensity of the cat and it really makes that golden eye POP!

I had loads of ideas for naming the painting but in the end I decided a one word title would be best suited to the sharp crop and feel of the picture, so I chose the masculine 'Noir'. We all know how difficult it is to photograph black animals as the light hits it in all different directions, well painting a dark animal is really really difficult! You have to make so many hidden decisions on what colours you'll use in the highlights and the shadows of the piece. I really wanted to captured his wonderful facial markings which can only be seen from certain angles of light. The colour palette used was a selection of dark chocolate rich tones, yellow/peach/pink/blue highlights, and the fur was a short velvet-like texture. The whiskers are usually the most terrifying part of the painting - and painting whiskers across a dark palette meant 'one chance only!' so rest assured I was concentrating very hard! In a way this painting may be one of my all time favourites as I feel I have conquered what at first seemed impossible, and I'm proud of myself for finally getting there :) I hope you enjoyed this ever-changing piece, I look forward to sharing my next painting with you! Jules

A huge thank you to Alistair Knock for allowing the use of his reference :)

FINISHED *Bengal Tiger painting*

Presenting ' DANCING FLAMES ' Bengal tigers


' DANCING FLAMES ' Bengal tigers watercolour painting
original 14" x 9"  

Here is my completed Bengal tigers painting, I had a lot of fun with this one! After my last snow leopard painting where I was concentrating on a cool colour palette reflecting the freezing climate, I wanted to tip the other side of the scale with a bold warm palette.

I chose the title 'Dancing Flames' because I didn't want to imply they were fighting, or playing, or having a romantic encounter! I chose to let them dance and be wild! I loved working so freely with the movement and interaction of the design, I went through a few differing poses but decided upon these two positions to capture the inner spirit of the tiger.

The whole painting was limited to only four colours. I actually found that I didn't need any others as the varying shades of each and the colour mixtures worked happily to achieve the warmth in the picture. I am tempted to work this way more in the future as it was so liberating and no colour was the wrong colour!

The light played an important yet subtle role in bringing the background and the foreground together. I found that gently back lighting the subjects allowed the horizon of the grasses to not stand so static, and I didn't want to overwork the detail - although working to this small scale didn't really allow tight detail anyway! The main focus I had was to give justice to the strength and muscular structure of both cats. Painting the tone and contour of the muscles was my favourite part, as I've not had much chance on previous paintings to explore the body as much as I will in future pieces! I hope you've enjoyed the progression of the piece :) Jules
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