Thursday, 14 April 2011

jaguar progress - half face progress

half face progress
Hello everyone, I think I've made some good progress this week, I didn't set out to build up so much on one side of the face without touching the other side, but once I got going I thought I may as well continue! I'm pleased with how it's starting to look now. Like the sumatran tiger on my blog header I was at first a little apprehensive about being able to accurately capture the correct colouring on the fur. Unlike the orange tones of a tiger or the yellow tones of a cheetah, the jaguar has an unusual golden/tan/orange colouring depending on its age or the lighting. My reference photos were taken at two different times of day, the first ones were bright and overcast (which in my opinion is the best lighting) and later on in the day the sun was bright and golden creating richer red tones. Therefore I have combined the two differing shades where I am happy.

Sovereign has a wonderful large enclosure which is full of foliage and greenery where he can hide and be content. At the front he has a ponded area before the boundaries of safety. On the day we were taken around by George Hyde, he had all the bucketed meat treats for Sov. I think on an ordinary visit to the zoo you may not always see Sovereign unless he comes to the front as the enclosure goes quite far back and the foliage provides lots of hiding and shelter, but as soon as he saw his bucket he knew! George walked slowly behind all of us so that he positioned himself at different angles for all the photographers to go wild snapping away! Sovereign was an absolute delight to photograph - he was such a poser! Looking at each individual to make sure everybody had the money shot :) He was surrounded by greenery as it was the end of the summer, the green was reflected upon the white parts of his coat. I have given the whiter areas a very slight tinge of green so that it doesn't look too flat and generic.

There are strategically positioned logs at the front too which act as brilliant obstacles for him to 'prowl' walk over. I will at some point paint him again as a full figure to include his wonderful muscular body and huge paws! I could have easily stayed there all day watching him, at one point I simply put my camera down and watched him with tears in my eyes - he is so beautiful! Dartmoor Zoo (DZP) has an amazing selection of animals, including a cheetah/3 tigers/jaguar/2 lions/bears/monkeys/british wildlife and many more! Its grounds are also very beautiful and natural to walk around.

7 comments:

Maria's Watercolor said...

Oh my gosh, this is spectacular! Thanks for sharing your work in progress, so interesting to see how you get to your final paintings.

Andrew said...

the fur on the muzzle is amazing, how did you do it?

hmuxo said...

It's progressing beautifully!! Amazing color.

From The Studio Floor said...

Hi Julia,
Thank you for following my blog, and for Introducing me to your lovely watercolours.
Your colours are rich and your brushwork is lovely. Your passion for your subjects shows in your work.

Julia Ruffles | wildlife animal artist said...

thankyou Maria/Andrew/Hilda/Matthew :) for your lovely comments and encouragement! Jules

Lene said...

wow - this is really awesome. I haven't seen that many watercolor-artists doing so realistic animal paintings. Great to see yours :) Do you use layering techniques ?

Julia Ruffles | wildlife animal artist said...

I'm sorry Lene I've only just seen your comment, thankyou so much :) and yes I do lots and lots of layering until I achieve the accuracy in colour / tone and richness of colour, Jules

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