Looking from a high place: cheetah on termite mound sketch

One of the most memorable moments in the latest “Drawing the Big Cats” safari was our encounter with a cheetah mother and her cubs. The little family was so relaxed in our presence that we even had the opportunity to sketch them live, as the mother rested on a shady termite mound and the cubs alternatively accompanied her or played vigorously in the surrounding grassland.
Today I have taken a look at some of the pics and videos we took during that encounter, and found one image especially attractive: the mother cheetah looking out from the top of a termite mound that looked a bit like a castle, with several pinnacles resembling battlements.
I decided to make a quick drawing to recover the essence of that moment.

Once again, I draw the essential lines as fast as possible, not dwelling on too many details. At this stage I discover a nice but totally fortuitous example of “resonance”, as the shape of a pinnacle on the left part of the mound echoes that of the cheetahs flexed hind leg… The playful artist in me loves this sort of little things!
guepardo 1 baja

Then I add shades to give some depth to the drawing
guepardo 2 baja

Finally, and once things seem to be roughly in place, I spend some time rejoycing in the detailed shading, spots and main textures
guepardo 4 baja

I have to confess to having taken a small artistic license in this rendering: I omitted the largish radio collar which scientists put on this beautiful cat. Obviously every bit of information biologists can get from these wild animals can be vital for their conservation, but a collar like that is nonetheless something of a blemish on the perfection of such an elegant cat!

Want to see some footage of our encounter with this charming cheeath family? Check this link to watch the video in YouTube:


Posted on 21/01/2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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