Big Cats Under Construction!

My current project involves big cats. I started with four individual charcoal drawings of a lioness, a leopard, a cheetah, and a tiger.   The next stage was then to develop each cat into a color drawing using color pencil and pan pastel.

I started with the lioness.  Here is the work in progress.

Four images of the drawing of a lioness
Four images showing the different stages of drawing a lioness

Reference: Wildlife Reference Photos 

She is not quite finished as there is a bit of refinement still required, particularly down the right side. I really enjoyed drawing her as the warm glow of the yellows, browns, and ochres contrasted with the cool greys and blues of the wolf that was the subject of my previous project. Drawing her has made me think of summer!

I have also made a start on the other three cats.

The reference image for the leopard was one that I was initially not too sure of as I felt it lacked detail, but I decided to go ahead anyway. Despite a wobbly start, I persevered and I am now happy with the way this cat is turning out.

leopard work in progress
leopard work in progress

Take a look at the first picture in the work in progress, it reflects how I often feel at the start of a new project, one of slight panic wondering how it will turn out.

Thankfully through perseverance, this leopard is now developing to the point that I can give a sigh of relief.

Reference: Jason Morgan

The next one up is the cheetah, a slightly different type of reference shot as it shows her clearly on a mission. I decided to fill the pastel mat to gain maximum impact. It will be interesting to see how this turn out.

Two images showing the early stages of drawing a cheetah
Two images showing the early stages of drawing a cheetah

Reference: Pixabay

The Tiger was the last to be started and it is still at the pan pastel foundation layer. The lack of eyes makes it a bit ghoulish.

Tiger work in progress showing the initial pan pastel application.
Tiger work in progress showing the initial pan pastel application.

Reference: Jason Morgan

Having now made a start on all four cats, I will rotate between them until I am finished.