View Full Version : Black-faced Impala WIP - watercolour and ink

03-04-2012, 04:49 AM
This is a commissioned painting I have started working on, based on my client's reference photograph. I usually work from my own images - but this commission is fun because it's taken at Etosha National Park in Namibia, one of my favourite places on Earth. And they got closer to a Black-Faced Impala, than I did when I was there, so it's great to have the opportunity to paint this! :)

Black-Faced Impala is a subspecies of the common Impala - with the difference being their distinctive dark facial markings, which will be evident in the painting later. Wikipedia tells it best: "While the species as whole is never endangered, this subspecies had come close to extinction. In 1968 - 1971 310 individuals were transferred to Etosha National Park for better protection, and its number is steadily increasing. However, the current population is still less than 1,000 and interbreeding with the common impala from nearby farms is damaging to the gene pool."

Pardon the terrible lighting, as usual - I swear, there's enough light on my painting desk, just the camera doesn't think so!


The reference photograph unfortunately did not include the top of the closer horn, but the client's request was that it be included, so I made an educated guess here. The perspective on the horns is rather difficult - fortunately they approve :)


03-04-2012, 05:13 AM
Great start, I like what I see so far, will be watching with great interest.

Painting fun

Kathrin G.
03-04-2012, 06:26 AM
Love the textures of the horns :clap: great start :clap:

03-04-2012, 09:08 AM
Great Start

03-04-2012, 12:02 PM
Looks like a wonderful start so far! Can't wait to see how this one comes along. :D

03-04-2012, 03:25 PM
Wow! the horns are wonderful already! Watching with excitement to see how this one comes along!

03-08-2012, 12:10 PM
Those horns are amazing!!! such detail, can't wait to see finish!!!:clap:Nicki

03-10-2012, 05:55 AM
Wow Nadya, this is going to be excellent. Love the subject too.

03-10-2012, 10:24 AM
peeking in for a update


03-10-2012, 03:01 PM
Great job so far

03-13-2012, 08:09 AM
Thanks so much for your lovely comments everyone! :)

As usual, I get all excited about starting a new piece, then life gets in the way. Hope to work on the impala some more this coming weekend!

03-13-2012, 09:06 AM
Great job so far!! I'll be following along!

04-14-2012, 10:42 AM
YAY AN UPDATE! Happy dance!!!! :) :music:

I finally got time to work on this painting again!

Well I had been working on it in bits and pieces, but didn't take WIP photos. So this is a halfway-to-nearly-done stage, just got the neck to go and to finalise the thorny bush branch!
Actually left the branch "open-ended" at the top of it - that's where it ended in the original reference photo, but thinking about extending it out just a little bit further up to balance the composition a little...


04-14-2012, 10:54 AM
Looking good.

chammi kaiser
04-14-2012, 12:01 PM
Nadya, Etosha is also my favourite place on earth where you can see the Earth's curve. I love Impala. They are such beautiful supple creatures. Yours is looking superb. Love the horns. Can't wait to see the finish.

04-14-2012, 02:42 PM
This is coming along so beautifully! Can't wait to see the finished piece. :D

Colorfur Critters
04-14-2012, 03:47 PM
Wow, it looks so lifelike!

05-12-2012, 10:09 PM
Finally finished the Impala :)

Well actually finished him about a week ago but wasn't able to get a proper scan of him until yesterday.

"Black-Faced Impala"
by Nadya Neklioudova - commissioned painting based on client's photo.
ArtSpectrum watercolours and pigment ink on Arches paper,
size about 34x23cm.


05-12-2012, 10:21 PM
Beautiful work and lovely finish!

chammi kaiser
05-13-2012, 08:08 AM
Love those ears and horns , Nadya. Thanks for sharing the process. Really enjoyed watching.

05-13-2012, 01:15 PM
This is lovely, I really like your style of painting, have you ever done any book illustrations? For some reason I can just imagine seeing this in a book!

05-15-2012, 10:25 AM
wonderful finish to this WIP and thank you for sharing it. I am amazed at how others work.


Dave Hawk
05-15-2012, 12:27 PM
very nice work and your illustration scene of composition is great. Nice Job.

05-15-2012, 01:01 PM
This is so beautiful! Love the horns. Excellent work!

05-16-2012, 08:41 AM
Thank you all so much for your kind comments :) I'm very happy that my client loves the painting too.

Rachelstribb: oh, I would LOVE to do book illustrations. I've done two book covers, but that's about it - one was for a writer who is a friend of the family, and one was from winning a literary anthology cover art contest. But I don't really know how to apply to publishers or how to get my work into books... don't know where to start I guess.

05-16-2012, 12:14 PM
Wow! This is stunning!!


05-16-2012, 07:23 PM
Wow, beautiful finish. The client must be thrilled!:) I really love the branch, and the texture in the antlers. And the white background. It works perfectly for this piece!

05-17-2012, 03:31 PM
Nicely done Nadya! I'm sure your customers are thrilled with the end result!

05-17-2012, 05:51 PM
Beautiful! Good job!

05-19-2012, 04:14 PM
Very nice!
They have such sweet faces, don't they?
And the texture on the horns is fantastic!

05-20-2012, 10:57 AM
It was a stand alone by the 2nd photo you posted! Very dramatic horns with just the penciled sketch of the remaining work! Great job on the whole piece.