Friday, January 21, 2011
At last, I can call this, my first pastel painting, complete! The official dimensions are 25.25" x 19.375" and I've been working on it since late October, about three months. I guess I like to dive right in when learning a new medium. I never did spray the bottom layer as I was planning, but it didn't seem to need it. I used Rembrandt soft pastels for, well, almost everything except the fur and details for which I used Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils. I also used Sennelier sticks for the whiskers and some of the black background. Sennelier are extremely soft, but also pricey, so I only have black and white for now.
This jaguar I met at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque. They have two, actually, one male (this one) and one female (a black, or melanistic, jaguar). The zookeeper once said that while most big cats kill through biting the jugular, the jaguar's neck and jaw muscles are so strong it can crush a human skull. It may not be the largest of the big cats, but it is probably the most powerful. The photos I got of him were of him gnawing and licking a large bone, but I wanted to show him a bit gentler than that. I titled this piece Pristine because of him keeping himself clean as well as for the impeccable natural rainforest landscape behind him.
While it took a lot longer than I thought, I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience and look forward to doing more pastel work.