Athena is a beautiful black Jaguar who lives at The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent. The other cats were awesome..... but there is something special about Athena. She is an impressive creature and stuns you firstly by the sheer sense of power that she exudes and then by her majestic coat that looks pure black in shady areas but comes to life in the sunshine when her markings magically appear. I wanted to make sure that when I drew her these feelings would come out in my drawing.
The reference photo shows Athena prowling through sunlit, summer grass...... definitely not dark or moody enough, there is nothing sunny about Athena.
To create the image I felt would depict her personality I removed the grassy background and darkened the shadows on her so that she would melt away, I also pushed strength of the colours in the lighter areas to bring out her markings.
I started drawing her on wine coloured pastelmat, for some strange reason the black wouldn't cover the wine colour to my satisfaction so I started again, several black pencils later, on white pastelmat. I did use black panpastel as a base on the large background area, this was simply to speed the process up as the pencils were able to cover the pastelmat easily on other areas of the Jaguar.
Work in Progress 1
Work in Progress 2
A fluffy ear
The colours in her fur are fantastic, drawing black subjects is never boring.
A velvet soft paw
on white Pastelmat
40cm x 50cm
My Photo Ref
And here's a little extra,
I'm delighted to say that Athena Emerging won The David Shepherd Award for the best depiction of an endangered species at The Wildlife Art Society International Exhibition 2018.