amur leopard progress – chin / muzzle

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Since my last blog post on this painting, I have painted in his chin and started work on the lower parts around his jaw, both these areas have longer fur. Chins can be very tricky to get right as they require layers of hair without making it all too blocky and solid. Not all of the hairs will catch the light and give a shine, so you want to be selective on the top hairs you pick out.

The dark areas of the muzzle will be broken up by lots of crisp white whiskers, bringing the piece together. Whiskers are also important to position a face on your paper, I think they add character and energy to all big cats! I may do one more blog post before the completed painting, I hope you’re enjoying our journey! 🙂 Jules


NEW Fine Art Limited Edition Prints

Available prints, limited to only 95 each worldwide, if you are interested please contact me via email or contact Haddon Galleries directly, thank you!

High quality reproduction of an original painting which is signed and numbered by the artist limited to only 95 each worldwide, after which no further reproductions are made. Mounted and wrapped ready for framing.

NEW Amur leopard painting


Here is the start of my current Amur leopard painting (reserved). I wanted to show the frightening decline of this beautiful cat representing both the leopard and it’s habitat fading. Critically endangered with less than approx. 35 individuals left in the wild and on the brink of extinction. There are captive breeding programmes around the world that are working tirelessly to ensure the survival of this special species. This is why I support zoo management and breeding programmes, I believe lack of education and understanding creates bad feeling towards zoos and wildlife parks, however they are now an essential part of protecting the survival of many vulnerable and endangered species.

I have painted a similar image to this one before, so this time round I wanted to change it up a little. I decided on a darker backdrop highlighting the illusion of a mountainous habitat. The blue / slate grey colours blended beautifully into the orange coat with a hint of rose tone between the two. There will be real strength and intensity from the leopard, illustrating HOPE, forcing change and survival.


I’ve just set up a NEW Twitter account, please come and join me on my art journey!

FINISHED *Snow Leopard painting*

Presenting ‘ SILVER ON GOLD ‘ snow leopard

‘ SILVER ON GOLD ‘ snow leopard watercolour paintingoriginal 12″ x 8″

‘Silver on Gold’

Snow leopards have a thick dense coat with dappled shades of grey, yellow and cream colouring with black rosettes giving them the perfect disguise amongst their natural habitats rocky terrain, this including the Altai mountain ranges of Mongolia. Altai means the “Golden Mountain”, so I decided ‘Silver on Gold’ as an apt title, setting his silvery coat and glowing eyes against a frosty golden background.

Sadly RANSCHAN died before I started painting this picture of him, therefore this is my tribute to such a handsome cat. Ranschan had a playful character, always looking for the next game of hide and seek, acrobatics or statues! A very persuasive cat especially at meal times, before being found draped in the crook of his favourite oak tree sleeping.

In his memory, he will forever remain the ghost of the mountains.

Thank you Nicky Hofland for your generous permission to use your photo 🙂


I’m happy to announce my official introduction into Haddon Galleries! I’d love anyone that’s in the area to pop in and say Hi  come and see some of my work fresh from the easel!

This is your opportunity to meet me in person and have a chat about my artwork, I look forward to seeing you there!

FINISHED *Red Panda Painting*

Presenting ‘ LITTLE FLAME ‘ red panda cub

‘ LITTLE FLAME ‘ red panda watercolour paintingoriginal 12″ x 8″  

Finally after a lot of hard work here is my little red panda girl! There were many aspects of this painting that were highly challenging and really pushed my abilities and patience, but I persevered and wouldn’t give up. The hardest aspect was the colouring – how often does one see a painting whereby the colours are dull and lifeless or have an unrealistic harsh saturation? My style of painting requires a good balance which is pleasing to the eye, this can sometimes be helped by your chosen surrounding colours.

I chose a simple gradient backdrop of indigo / peach / antique pink mix to pick up tones in her face, not too fussy as I knew there was a lot of texture and detail in the fur type. Normally I would include some textural effects in the background but this one required a little more simplicity. I spent most of this picture painting it upside down / side wards and on the diagonal! This was due to the long thick fine fur as I moved around her forehead and face, the most part was working inward toward her main features. I didn’t want to make the painting ‘easier’ for myself as I think character can be found in many aspects of an animal, and for this one it was her fur. The constant change of direction and texture really captures the spirit of this beautiful girl. The fuzzy frazzled edging of the fur was enjoyable and more free to play with – this fur type is to protect it against rain and cold in its mountainous habitat.

Once I had painted in her black underparts, I had to very carefully and delicately work the white fur on her chin and muzzle, lots of layers and subtle colour blending and changing. The ‘white’ parts on this picture are what balance the composition out as a whole.

The main colours I used for this painting were – white, black, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine, burnt umber, cadmium yellow, cerulean blue.

I hope you like her, on to the next painting! 🙂

Thankyou Mikion, for the kind use of your photo!

‘…the colours, shapes and textures found within the living world fascinate me, pushing me to see through the visual breaking down the layers, before allowing these intricate patterns to recreate back upon my paper…’

Julia is an entirely self taught UK artist specialising in watercolour painting and graphite pencil art.View my complete profile

Please respect that the copyright of all images and content remains with the artist