One would think that with Disney’s The Jungle Book being a big part of my childhood, I might like tigers less. Shere Khan was only one of the most scary villains—though, simultaneously one of the most…noble? Not that hunting a child is noble, but his motivation was less self-serving than say, Scar’s. Actually, come to think of it…big cats are these terrifying, massively dangerous wild beasts…but it’s just hard not to like them.
Especially when big cats apparently have the same inability to resist cardboard boxes that their domestic cousins have and they are also openly fond of basking in the sun.
When I was a kid, I had this little plastic tiger cub who was classically named—Stripe. My brother had the same tiger, except white, and named Ghost Tiger—but we called him GT for short. Very creative names!
Tigers are very hard to paint, incidentally. I’ve really struggled to capture their bone structure. For some reason the leopard comes easier—perhaps because the leopard is more sleek?
I don’t have any childhood leopard memories, I think I might have had a plastic leopard at one point, but it was not as important a toy as Stripe.
I want to paint a series of big cats, glamourous big cats like these—and also more comedic big cats. Big Cats in Little Boxes, sounds fun and challenging!
I have a hard time cartooning from scratch—but I’m trying to learn. I spent so much of my life wishing I could draw photo-realistic things that it’s been a huge mindset shift to accept that my strength lies elsewhere. It’s not that I can’t be photo-realistic, but the pieces that really shine with emotion and are fun to look at aren’t those. I’m better at whimsy, and better at evocative. And I’m finding that I like artwork that looks like art. Especially with so many amazing photographers out there, I don’t feel the need to duplicate their work, I’ll make it something new.
Both of these cats are done in colored pencil, over a watercolor background and inked blacks. They are both up in Redbubble, I haven’t put them in my Etsy shop yet, though. Do you think I should?