I had planned to paint this jaguar in oils, but in the end I decided pastels would be best to capture the soft fur and wisps of hair.
I wanted to be sure to capture the richness of such a beautifully coloured coat in warm jungle lighting, without compromising on detail. As this is the first big cat I have even painted or drawn, I found myself working in small areas at a time, rather than building the whole drawing up at once.
Once I was happy I had achieved a balance of depth of colour and detail, I felt confident enough to start working on larger areas, building up layers of pastel pencil as I went.
I hadn’t planned to add a background, but once I was finished he seemed very out of place without a hint of jungle undergrowth behind him!
‘Jaguar’ Pastel, 12″ x 12″ / 30 x 30cm 2018 by Gillian Ussher
For this drawing I used Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils, Unison soft pastel and Mungyo pastel sticks on Daler Rowney Ingres pastel paper. Many thanks to Edwin Butter for permission to use his fantastic reference photograph.
Both the original pastel and fine art prints are available from www.gillianussherart.com