Monday, June 02, 2008


black leopard hunting at night drawing with white charcoalHere is the black leopard, a nocturnal hunter with a wide range of habitats. Here, one is hunting in the moonlit rainforests of southern Asia (if you can imagine moonlight actually getting to the ground in a rainforest). The black, or melanistic, leopard is just a color variation of the "regular" leopard. It is not completely black, as you can usually see the spots.

This drawing was quite a challenge for me, but I enjoyed it. Except for the experiments of my previous posts on white charcoal, I've never used black paper and white charcoal before. It is a whole new experience drawing highlights instead of shadows. It was fun, too, trying to figure out where all the shadows of the leaves would lie, especially without a physical model to go by.

I used the paper I was complaining about before. I really don't like the patterned tooth, but I was able to work with it reasonably well, especially for the tree trunks. I still would have preferred smoother paper for the leaves, as you can still see some texture to them. The fur worked pretty well. I bought a couple sheets of Strathmore Artagain black paper to try out. It is recycled paper but is much smoother than this charcoal paper.

I have prints available for this piece, and I'll be selling the original unframed (12"x18").


Peter Bond said...

Wow, Heather! I just found your blog through The Flying Trilobite, and I am amazed! I love the level of scientific accuracy in your work.

This panther piece is fantastic! I dabble in art too, but your use of white charcoal (conte?) on black paper is mind-blowing!

I can't wait to try it!

Heather M. Ward said...

Thanks so much Peter! I do try to be as accurate as I can. I took a look at your blog and I love your dinosaur drawings.

Yeah, this guy was mostly a white charcoal compressed stick with a pencil version for the fur and details. It was fun!

Lene said...

Hi Heather
beautiful drawing - the dark and mysterious enviroment is just great for the panther

Heather M. Ward said...

Thank you Lene. I am still learning about using white charcoal, but it's a lot of fun.