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WIP Leopard

The animal and wildlife forum concentrates on drawings of all animals, from domestic pets to wildlife - anything dressed in fur, feathers or scales. The emphasis is on drawing but paintings are also acceptable.

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WIP Leopard

Postby BlackScorpion » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:27 pm

Hi everybody,

My current project is a leopard.
The reference comes from Pixabay, a site with royalty free pictures.
I show the reference in color, but am using a black and white version to work.
The little tree stump is not going to appear in the drawing.

The format is A4 and I use mechanical pencils in different hardnesses.
First I drew the general outlines very lightly in 4H with a raster of 5 x 5 cm.

The reference picture...

The basic outlines...

The below is how far I am now after about 5,5 hours drawing in total.
The ear is not finished yet, still have some work on it.

I do have a question though, I am struggling with the fur on the neck.
I don't know how to draw the longer fur with the shades and parting in the fur.
Can somebody explain or show a step by step explanation how to do this?

Other tips and comments are also always welcome!

Thanks and greetz,

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Re: WIP Leopard

Postby BlackScorpion » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:39 pm

The drawing is finished now,hope you like it.
The whiskers are done with a Posca stift of 0,7 mm.
I am not satisfied with the whiskers, if anybody has a better idea, tell me!

I know I still have much to learn, tips are always welcome :-)


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Re: WIP Leopard

Postby Laurene » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:13 am

Hi Evy and welcome to the forum!

First of all, I really like the subject you chose. There's a very good range of values to work with, and the 3/4 pose is perfect. Your rendering of the subject is spot on. You captured the proportions perfectly and the eyes are alive! The only advice I can give is not to be afraid to go very dark where the fur is actually black (like around the mouth and below the lower lip). This will add dimension to your drawing.

As far as the whiskers go, I see that you handled the fur inside the ears beautifully and that's actually much more difficult. Did you indent or use negative drawing? Whatever method you used, you could use the same method for the whiskers.

Just one more bit of advice. Next time, don't draw right up to the edge of the paper - leave a white border all the way around. That way, if you want to frame it you won't be cutting off part of your drawing.

I look forward to seeing more of your work soon!

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Re: WIP Leopard

Postby BlackScorpion » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:33 am

Thank you Laurene for your tips.

At the ears I indeed used indenting, I tried it for the whiskers too, but it didn't work. I'll try to go darker next time on the dark places, I didn't dare do so now, too afraid it would be too dark in regards to the rest. My tezcher in evening school once made this remark to me that it was too dark seen at the rest. But then again, it is my work znd I should do what I want ;). As for the drawing up to the edge, I did that on purpose as this book will be shown for my jury in evening school and I thought it would be better. But I can see what you mean. The current drawing I am working on (a house cat) is also up to the edge but I'll try not to do so with the drawing after that.

Thanks again for the tips!

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Re: WIP Leopard

Postby Bev » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:22 pm

Lovely subject Evy, well done. I would agree with Laurene about going darker, it would make your Leopard more three dimensional. If you look at your ref you can see that the white fur under his chin is almost black.....draw what you see, not what you know, so although his fur is white and that is what you know, there is great deal of tone and shading in amongst the hairs. Also, don't be afraid to vary the strength of your lines when doing the fur, cross over and change direction of some of them and vary the length too, and be aware of becoming too mechanical when doing it. I know how easy it is to get into a rhythm when drawing short fur but if you can fight that tendency, your lines will become more fluid and realistic.
You have done an excellent job with this chap, just keep practising and you will get there.
I mostly indent for whiskers rather than doing negative drawing which is really time consuming. Practice your indenting strokes on a spare piece of paper before committing to your final piece. You need to press quite hard for it to be effective.

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Re: WIP Leopard

Postby BlackScorpion » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:17 pm

Thank you for your comments, Bev. I will definately try to use more tone and value in my next drawing and go dark where it is dark. I am also going to try to work upside down some in order to forget the subject and focus more on what I am seeing instead of drawing what I think should be there.

I did try to cross over and change direction in the fur, but it is indeed difficult to do much once in the "trance" of drawing fur. The different lengths I will try to keep in mind, I did not think about that. And the indenting, I have to practice it more, I am a bit scared of pushing too hard and damaging the paper. For regular hairs ok, but whiskers are more difficult for me at the moment. Practice...

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Re: WIP Leopard

Postby PogArt » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:07 am

Hi and welcome to TDF ;)
I've got not much to say , because Laurene and Bev have already gave you a lot of very good advices ;)
I do understand your hard way up , to improve your skills, as I am going the same way...
I've started drawing about two years ago, and I'm still carry on learning on my faults, trying to improve my skills, so I'm practising to draw many different subjects.
I've drawn spider, cat, dog, my friends portraits ...
All in graphite pencils, but at last Christmas time I've started learning pastel pencils, to introduce coloured drawings to my work...
I think that the colour can be a nice addition to my animals drawings?
If I manage to use pastel media to draw what I like...
You've got a good start with this drawing, so carry on and practice ;)
Well done ;)
Artur Adamczyk


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