Leopard Field Sketch by Artist Alison Nicholls

Leopard Field Sketch, 11x14" by Alison Nicholls © 2013

Leopard Field Sketch, 11×14″ by Alison Nicholls © 2013

During my last trip to Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana I saw numerous leopards. The only problem was that I wasn’t feeling great, having had a terrible cold for about a week, so sketching was not going incredibly well. But here is a sketch I managed to do in between sniffs!

I find leopards one of the more difficult cats to sketch. They don’t have the bulky muzzle of the lion or the more delicate, angular head of the cheetah, both of which allow you to instantly identify the cat from a sketch. Often, with a leopard, adding the spots makes all the difference (as you would expect). The trouble is that often I only have time to sketch the outline of the cat before it moves off, which means no time to add spots. So when I see a sleeping leopard I’m very happy. My photographer husband was less happy because this leopard had a single thin branch crossing her face and ruining his photos. That’s where artistic license comes in very handy – you’ll notice there is no branch in my sketch!

Until next time…

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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