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Eyecons of the world. "Lioness"

Updated: Feb 19

Original image taken by Marco the inspiration
Leopardsong Lioness Eyecon 2

Lioness watching from the tundra
Lioness Leopardsong

Eyecon 2 "Lioness"

This is the second in the Eyecon series. Lioness is taken from the image above, I will produce a full version of this beautiful animal but for now I wanted to concentrate on her eye only.

As I explained with the first Eyecon "Elephant", I will be producing a series of these. All eyecons will be mixed media. Charcoal and Pastel and will come in different sizes, either A4 (210 x 297mm) or A3 (297 x 420mm). I might go bigger still though if people want to commission me to produce something of a statement for a feature wall. Lioness is the same size as Elephant , is relatively small, at A3 but framed it will increase to at least 350 x 450mm.

As with "Elephant Eye" I like to give people a little bit of background to the creation, The inspiration and the creative development. In the case of "Lioness" as with "Elephant" our visit to the Leopardsong Game Reserve provided more than enough inspiration for the initial eyecon series. One of South Africa’s newest “Big Five” Game Reserves, Leopardsong is situated in the heart of South Africa within an hours drive of Johannesburg international airport and 40 minutes from Pretoria. Waking up to the roar of lions in the game lodge the morning after our first game drive was truly inspiring and unforgettable. That roar told our guides that the pride had had a kill, so all we had to do was find them, after they had eaten of course.

Lioness on guard after the morning's kill
Pride Post Kill Leopardsong Game Reserve

Thankfully when we did find them they were enjoying the sun, which allowed us to get close enough to make my hair stand up on the back of my neck. It was the first image at the top of this blog that really made me realise the power of a look. That stare of warning from the Lioness was enough to tell us don't come any closer. How could I not include her in the series of eyecons.

Stage 1 - Eye Development

Building the eye of Lioness
Stage 1 - Frisk Cartridge Paper - Setting out

As I have explained in previous blogs, for me I have to get the eye before progressing further. This first attempt was very quickly modified as I developed the shape and reflections. I added a thin layer of tinted ochre charcoal followed by a blue and then white from the Derwent XL block range. I'm beginning to like these big blocks as you can put a lot of charcoal down in relatively short order before moving to the finer details with pencils and charcoal. As a result Ive now ordered the latest product from Derwent A tin of the full tinted charcoal range.

For those who are interested I have included below, at the end of the blog, a list of all the products and kit used in the creation of this eyecon.

Stage 2 Further work on the eye

Stage 1 Eye development nearly complete
Further work on the eye

As I have said many times before I always work better first thing in the morning. Looking at Lioness on Day 2 it was pretty obvious a Loy had to change.

Firstly the tear duct area was the wrong shape and the whisker mound above the eye is just too small. By the way I don't know if that's what you call it, whisker mound, but I'm sure some helpful reader will enlighten me. Either way its too small.

I am slowly getting the correct feel of the eye, now I need to expand from this point and start to develop the rest of the artwork.

Stage 3 Detailing and finishing the rest of the head

Eye socket modified and whisker mound improved
Day2 Work on Lioness is showing progress

This eyecon proved to be more challenging than I thought it would be.

To get the facial features to look right I had to keep referencing back to the full image which is at the top of this blog.

It's not often that I lose my way in an artwork but with this one I kept working on the wrong area. Perhaps its tiredness or am I just getting old? No on reflection I think its scale. The bigger the image the more easy it seems to be able to get disorientated.

The fur was particularly difficult and took a long time to achieve the softness and shape that I wanted for Lioness.

As all my work that I feel is finished it has to go to the greatest critic, my wife.

I know you have to be cruel to be kind but you don't mess with a 5'2" Geordie and after some careful review and critique we did agree some final tweaks.

So here she is. "Lioness" a true Eyecon of the wild.

Mixed Media - Charcoal and Pastel on Frisk Paper
Lioness Eyecon No 2 in the Series

The original artwork has been retained but a very few limited edition Giclée prints are available as investment opportunities.

Eyecons of the world the artist's border recommendation
Lioness Eyecon with suggested border colour

We can also produce a framed version if required.I have also released 10 signed and numbered A4 Giclée prints and 5 A3 at what we believe as very attractive investment opportunities. Shop Here Eyecons of the world "lioness"

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