After painting a number of small pieces, it is time to start a big piece. Rarely do wildlife artists paint animals larger than life. (kind of hard to do with an elephant or blue whale.) It is done so seldom that I remember one conversation I had with artist Mort Solberg at the Birds in Art show, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. He commented that he liked my painting Bobwhite Quintet and that it was "gutsy" of me to paint the Northern Bobwhite larger than life size.
I knew I wanted to paint a large leopard piece. As I worked on the composition, the leopard kept getting larger and more cropped. Something about him just called to be "in your face."
At this stage, I am just starting to paint in the underlying turpentine wash.