A MOTHER’S PATIENCE TESTED: SKETCHING BOTSWANA’S LEOPARDS
Today I went browsing our pictures and videos from the 2013 “Drawing the big Cats” trip, and was reminded of the amazing luck we had to meet two different leopard mothers with their offspring, which taught us so much about the family life of the most secretive of the African big cats.
Unlike the case of lionesses, which can share their motherly duties with other members of the pride, the females of the other big cat species have to deal with the unstoppable playfulness of their cubs without any assistance. As a result, there are many situations where the mother’s body language shows the whole range of emotions between enjoyment and impatience in a matter of seconds.
I decided to make a quick sketch to capture such a moment, when our Chobe mother leopard was trying to bring her cub to a stashed prey for breakfast. But the cub only wanted to play, and play more!
As always, the key to capturing the shapes in your sketch lies in the first minute and the first few pencil strokes. With scenes like this one, where two animals are interacting, it is even more important to get all the geometrical relationships between the objects right from the start. Otherwise things can get very complicated as you add detail