Friday, 21 March 2014

NEW FINISHED *Snow Leopard painting*

Presenting 'BEYOND BHUTAN ' snow leopard

' BEYOND BHUTAN ' snow leopard watercolour painting
original  14.5" x 8"

For now I am taking a break from painting close-up faces of big cats, as my imagination and creative flow wants to explore and express far beyond the animal itself. This painting entitled 'Beyond Bhutan' was the first of more 'animal in natural habitat' ideas that I have plenty of! I want to play with movement, shape, light, limited colour palettes, the list goes on! I feel I'm at the start of a very exciting movement in my expressive artistic abilities, and I will also have a play with larger-scale pieces, incorporating the life and living of the chosen subject.

'Beyond Bhutan' was painted with only three shades of primary colours (cadmium red pale / ultramarine blue / cadmium yellow) this is my usual colour selection, however I normally also add alizarin crimson / cerulean blue / burnt umber. This may not be considered a limited palette as yet but it was fun experimenting with only the three shades of red, blue and yellow. 

I chose to paint it in a very cool palette exposing the freezing climate the snow leopard is so well adapted for! The central detailed rock journey through the diagonals of the paper allowed for more expressive edges, techniques and colour play. The paper I have always used is slightly textured which worked really well for the rough rugged terrain of the Mongolian mountains. I really enjoyed letting loose on the assorted textures across the rocks, choosing smoother areas juxtaposed against the sharp jagged edges. The colour variations were also fun to find in the rock face, delving from deep plum and indigo to flesh peach and terracotta tones.

I wanted to give the painting a story, a journey, a moment in time where the cat is reflecting upon it's next step. Is she moving up to higher altitudes or had she come down from above to view some movement in the distance? Or has she simply stopped for a moments rest in a sunspot? The steep incline shows the cats incredible acrobatic skills of jump and balance, using her long swift tail for precision. The tall narrow crop also allows for height within the picture, neither the top or the bottom of the rock formation shows a completed journey. I chose to paint the rock formation and the cat within a hidden Yin Yang shape. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary forces interacting to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the parts. It would be a devastating if either the snow leopard or its habitat disappeared caused by our own hand. Please support your local and international wildlife, we cannot trap our animal kingdom in future story books alone! Thank you :) Jules

A huge thanks to Diane (Stroller) for the initial reference for the snow leopard :)


Unknown said...

This is the best painting that i know of your work Julia,the snow leopard standing on the rocks.I love to see the animals integrated on his natural environment.

Julia Ruffles | wildlife artist said...

Thank you Marc :) I loved painting this snow leopard with her habitat surround it was really refreshing! Jules

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