Closer views of a Leopard pictured from life makes an image drawn on to the page visually striking as shown in the original portrait. The image really comes out from the page when I start my final sketch.
Before I start drawing the eyes of the leopard I place the eyes in the center position of the page so it is composed well then work my way up to the rest of the face. I capture all the reflections and detail in the eye and this becomes my favorite part of the piece. I love studying eyes mainly because of the expressions and fine detail portrayed in the leopards pupils. I work further up the face incorporating all the fur details applying light shading. The shading seperates the fur from the eyes so it does not look visually the same. When I shade the spots it starts to come out even better. The ears are shaded with a darker Staedler pen and highlights the overall face including the spots.
I work with the fur under both eyes gradually which then leaves me with the mouth, whiskers and the bottom of the neck. The fur on the neck becomes different to the face and this where I create soft fur textures with the pen. I balance the fur shading on the neck so it comes along on to the page. I include just a slight bit of the neck not too much otherwise it becomes too detailed. The negative space in the background goes well with the black and white drawing.
The main aspect I enjoyed working with on this drawing was the eyes and fur because I put a lot of time and effort to get it looking right. It visually looks unbelievably real !