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All of my paintings start with a very detailed drawing created from 1st hand observations, sketches, and photographs. I use a pastel pencil on Sennelier LaCarte pastel board or Art Spectrum Colour Fix paper. For this painting of a Mountain Lion, aka Cougar, Puma, Panther, I used references gathered from a trip to Kalispell, Montana.

This beautiful female is one of many animals fortunate enough to live at the Triple D Ranch in Kalispell, Montana. I have photographed her here many times as the Mountain Lion is considered to be one of the most elusive species in North America..

I use an assortment of pastels ranging from very hard sticks like Nu-Pastel and Creta-Color to medium Rembrandts and very soft brands like Sennelier, Unisons, and Terry Ludwigs. I also use Diane Townsend Terrages and a large assortment of pastel pencils.


 
The next step is to do an underpainting using hard pastels. I am just laying in shapes and values at this point. Once this is done, as in the image above, I will begin the process of layering many, many colors of softer pastels to achieve the results that I am looking for.


 Now I begin the process of the many layers it will take to create a realistic looking painting. You can see that I have completed those gorgeous eyes of hers as well as the nose pad, complete with a few snow flakes. I have also started laying in more of the darks which help to define the shape of the muzzle.


“Winter Princess” 9x12 Pastel. After many weeks of layering colors the piece is finished. She is not my 1st Mountain Lion painting and she will certainly not be my last. In fact she is already the star of a new, much larger piece coming to “On the Easel" soon.

 


HOME

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