View Full Version : Brotherly Love WIP(x-posted in Animals and Wildlife)

04-27-2006, 01:50 AM
Hi folks! I'm so excited!!!! I've just begun the layout stage for my next large pastel. It's going to be called "Brotherly Love" and will be the first piece in the Vumbara Pride series I'm doing all the preliminary sketches and studies for.

It's full sheet Colourfix Rose Grey. I've done the markup with an umber pastel pencil to get proportions and features in place.


The front lion is Tombo, who I've done a study of recently. getting his features in was quite easy. It was his brother Tonji who gave me trouble. He has a different character and portraying that took a little bit more work.

At this stage I'm literally jumping out of my skin. I just want to get lost in my pastels and watch them really come to life!!!

The first updates will be fairly rapid but this is likely to be a fairly long journey.
Hold on!!!!!

Kathryn Wilson
04-27-2006, 07:32 AM
This will be exciting to watch you develop - good sketching so far!

04-27-2006, 08:11 AM
looking good, love the pose of the second lion

04-27-2006, 08:49 AM
Wow, love the sketch. Looks great so far. Can't wait to see it progress.:cat:

Carol :wave:

04-27-2006, 12:38 PM
This is going to be fantastic. I love the pose of the lions.

04-27-2006, 01:50 PM
Am excited to see updates. Your sketch looks great.

Mariska :wave:

Kathryn Day
04-27-2006, 06:01 PM
I will be watching too.

Susan Borgas
04-27-2006, 07:07 PM
Leigh I feel your excitement all the way here and so you should be as you are off to a great beginning.

04-27-2006, 09:23 PM
Thanks to everyone for looking. Here's the updates showing what I've got done this morning so far.


I started with the background to get a feel for the lion's environment. By starting in the right corner it means that I have less chance of smudging the work later as I'm left handed.


I've layed in the highlights across Tonji's back and begun to block him in.


Using my AS warm white I lay in the lightest parts of Tombo's limbs so I can start work on the foreground grass.


For the foreground I've layed a base of australian red gold to accentuate the light greens I'm using for the grass. The grass is a combination of pinks, light greens, pale yellows and warm white.

04-27-2006, 09:28 PM
Leigh, this is going to be gorgeous! I'll check back often.

04-27-2006, 11:41 PM
omigoodness! This is stunning. Such a detailed drawing! I can hardly wait to see the finish!

04-28-2006, 01:23 AM
I've just got back from the art supply store, pastels in hand and continued to build up Tonji's mane.



04-28-2006, 02:09 AM
I've finished off the foreground grass and begun work on Tombo. I've worked on his paw and started to lay the highlights in.


At this point I'm starting to get a feeling of how this is going to develop. Having the foreground layed in it's starting to ground the brothers.

04-28-2006, 03:28 AM
Here's the next update (Geez! They're coming thick and fast at the moment!)
I've Started to work on Tonji's face. I'm amazed how well he's coming up at this point considering how much trouble he gave me at the layout stage. Just goes to show you can't substitute good drawing!



From here I'm going to start on Tombo's hind leg and body, as well as adusting the colour on Tonji's body.
Keep watching!!!

04-28-2006, 05:12 AM
Thought I'd post a close up of Tonji's snout so you can see how I've built it up. (In the last pics the darks look black) My darkest darks are AS Flinders Blue and Red Violets and Warm Grey.


I've started to fill in Tombo's hind leg, just scumbling the colours to start sculpting the form.


I'm going to work on this all night so updates will be coming through every hour or so.

04-28-2006, 06:22 AM
I'm back!!!
I've been hard at work sculpting and defining the details of Tombo's leg. I've also begun working on his body and building up his wrinkles. It's been a constant case of layering light over dark over light over dark until it starts to blend in the manner I want it to. I still have a lot more work to do on the leg but it's slowly starting to gain some real form.


04-28-2006, 06:38 AM
This is coming along beautifully!! I enjoyed going thru watching you build up the layers!!!

04-28-2006, 06:41 AM
Thanks Tres! I loved your Winter Fields Down Under by the way.

04-28-2006, 08:33 AM
Two hours later the work is starting to slow down a bit. I'm concentrating on the rendering of Tombo's body and hind leg, starting to build up the definition. I've also begun work on his mane, laying in the deep base colours for the shadows and the outer mane.


I've also returned to his paw, working up the highlights in the pads to give them more dimension.

Tonji's starting to feel a bit neglected after a few hours ( You know how fickle these boys can be! ) so I'll start to work on his snout soon.

04-28-2006, 09:45 AM
Okay, Tonji's impatience has paid off (Who would've thought a lion who's so lazy he sleeps on his brother could command so much attention?)
He now has a face! I'm posting 3 shots to show the progression.




Just a little bit of work on his mane and I can let him sleep again. Tombo is getting a few more touches as I keep rendering his mane also.
I'm still blown away by just how quickly these boys are emerging. Normally my wildlife pieces end up taking about a month or so. talk about advanced progression!!!:wink2:

04-28-2006, 09:57 AM
Oooh, I LOVE the light you have going on here! This is turning out beautifully!
I'm working on my own lion in oils at the moment, so it's really good to see how you're doing your WIP. :thumbsup:

-- Linda

04-28-2006, 10:12 AM
Thanks Linda. This is the third large lion piece I've done and I'm really getting a feel for them. Having the opportunity a few weeks back to be at a feeding has really given me a much greater insight to their personalities, which is flowing from my hand very easily at the moment.

04-28-2006, 10:55 AM
Tonji's now sleeping again. I've finished his mane as well as working a bit more on his body and leg. I'm also going to shut the studio for the night (It's currently 1:00am and i've been going since 9:00am). Tombo is patient enough to wait until tomorrow before he gets his face.



Thanks for looking! Don't forget to keep watching because there's a whole lot more to come!:wave:

04-28-2006, 05:44 PM

04-28-2006, 06:54 PM
Fascinating!!! Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfectly fascinating! (couldn't resist!) :D

Susan Borgas
04-28-2006, 07:42 PM
I my gosh, they are coming to life very quickly. beautiful!!!

Paula Ford
04-29-2006, 10:41 AM
I am so loving this...


04-29-2006, 05:12 PM
This is coming along beautifully......... your background is worth a mention too ...... lovely job

04-29-2006, 09:58 PM
Thanks again for looking. I should be back to them tonight after I go to the Camberwell Art Show. Once they're done I've got a dog portait commission tomorrow, as well as starting on my next large scale wildlife work. I've decided I'm going to work on a pair of Rothschild Giraffes in pastel. I'm thinking they'll be about 4ft tall.
Dark Shades- Thankyou for mentioning my background, I'm realy happy with it. Normally for my wildlife work I do very minimal backgrounds with no real features. I decided to go all out on these boys and I feel it really sets them off.

04-30-2006, 08:46 AM
I'm finally back in the studio tonight. The racket these two were making was getting a bit loud. It's never a good idea to make a lion roar! Tends to shake the ground beneath your feet and makes you jump out of your skin. they're content now that I'm back to work on them.
I've started blocking in Tombo's mane, building up the dark base upon which I can work the ligher toned hairs. I've also begun work on his lower jaw, using AS Australian Grey for most of it.


I'm just starting work on his snout


Tombo is going to take a bit more time than Tenji, but thats okay because he's the patient one.

04-30-2006, 08:56 AM
By the by, just thought I'd let you in on what the manager of AGRA galleries said when I showed her the progress pics of this. I was showing her the recent pic on my digital camera while we were talking about how I've gone back to do wildlife recently. she was asking where I get my reference pics from and I told her that I take them all myself. she then asked why the head of one of the lions was missing! I had to laugh, she hadn't cottoned on to the fact that she was looking at the painting! I was taken aback, deciding that I'm definitely doing something right if someone with her experience could be fooled like that.

04-30-2006, 10:57 AM
Tombo is now starting to flow a bit better. I've continued to work on his snout and mane, while also doing one of his eyes.


My lights are mainly raw sienna, pale burnt umber, australian grey, and clay pink.

04-30-2006, 11:55 AM
He's slowly starting to emerge. I've continued to work on his snout and developed his eye a bit more.


Now he's starting to come up the way that I want him to.

04-30-2006, 12:26 PM
Just as I thought. This is stunning. Thank you for sharing your WIP.

04-30-2006, 03:03 PM
Lovely to see how this is becoming a great painting. Thanks a lot for the WIP. Much appreciated.

04-30-2006, 03:16 PM
This is fasinating to watch them come "alive"...They are beautiful creatures, and you are doing a stand up job!!! :)

04-30-2006, 06:14 PM
This is terrific! I am enjoying this WIP very much, thank you for showing this.

Merethe T
04-30-2006, 06:37 PM
Gorgeous work, I am enjoying your WIP very much too! Looking forward to your next update!

04-30-2006, 11:25 PM
I got back to Tombo this morning and continued to build him up. I began to model his ear, working with my darks to defined the shadows, laying down some burnt orange tones inside the ear, and then working with burnt siennas and mid toned english red to build up the textures and form. There is still more work to be done here but its starting to take shape. I've continued to block in his mane and also started working on the background again.


In this close up you can see a little better how the textures are starting to have an effect. The base colour of the paper is crucial to really do these guys justice. You'll also notice that I've refined the shape of his eye and the markings.


The background bush is scumbled using AS flinders blue violet, bordeaux, green umber, burnt orange and light pink. It's slowly starting to take shape. I've still got a lot of highlights to introduce before it will look the way I want it.

04-30-2006, 11:48 PM
For those of you interested I've also finished off my sumatran tiger last night (He was the reason the boys were getting boisterous!). I was working in graphite and coloured pencil. If you want to have a look he's at http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340863

Okay, time to go back to Tombo before he realises that I'm not paying attention to him again!

05-01-2006, 05:29 AM
At last! the background is now finished, the jigsaw puzzle slowly coming together.


The background bush has now grown over a fallen tree, the light is starting to unify everything. Tombo is being very patient at the moment but he knows that all the attention will be on him now.

05-01-2006, 07:13 AM
Tombo has two eyes!!! I've also put in the highlights on his mane. While I've got to put him to bed for the night I know I'm on the home stretch.


I'll continue with him tomorrow after work. Until then ENJOY!

05-03-2006, 06:41 AM
Tombo's face is starting to form! I've spent some time tonight on the lower half of his face, now all I have to tackle is his brow and mane. The end is nigh!:)


Everything is falling into place and by the weekend these boys will be ready for framing!
I should have an update tomorrow night.

05-04-2006, 07:34 AM
They are stunning Leigh!!!!

05-04-2006, 08:06 AM
Got a little bit more done tonight, everything is now blocked in. All the sculpting is yet to be done but I've got a night without the kids tomorrow so I'll be finished by the time Saturday arrives.


05-04-2006, 10:38 AM
Just stunning!

05-04-2006, 11:58 AM
The only suggestion I have is to show a bit more of the hair on the mane on the first lion. It looks rather smooth, without dimension. Other than that it is a beautiful job so far.

05-05-2006, 09:40 AM
Thanks for posting! Charissa, trust me, there's quite a lot more to go on these boys before I sign off on them. I still have to build all the texture in Tombo's brow as well as laying in all the strokes to turn his magestic mane into something that will really do him justice!
Hopefully by the time Sunday night arrives these boys will be left in peace and i can then move on to framing them. I'll post all progress on Sunday. In the meantime I've got fingers and toes crossed that my lion at the Camberwell has found a home. I go to pick him up tomorrow.

05-05-2006, 07:28 PM
Leigh, my friend, looks you have a very especial attraction for lions.
Yesterday I saw your "Regal Slumber" in Camberwell Art Shaw, that painting, in a shaw with nearly 3000 works, was the first one that made me to stop and admire for a long, long time; to my surprise I saw your name in the label. Fantastic your improvement from your first works here with pastels.
Are you going to shaw this "Regal Slumber" here?
Congratulations, Peter

05-06-2006, 06:15 AM
Thanks so very much Peter! I am humbled by your wonderful comments. I actually found the Camberwell this year to be about the best show I've seen so far, so for my lion to have that impact is just incredible.
Could you tell me something mate? Did he have one of those great little red dots next to him? I certainly hope so!
I did show Regal Slumber earlier in the year in the Animal and Wildlife forum. If anyone here would like to see him let me know and I'll post him again.

05-06-2006, 08:32 AM
I'm finally back to the boys tonight (Have to say they've been very well behaved considering I haven't worked on them for a couple of days. No roaring, just the rumbling of their snoring coming from the studio!)
It's time to get those wrinkles sorted out on Tombo's head.


I went in with some mid tones and a few lights first, placing the light on the tufts of hair before running the furrows and blending.

I've gone back to his scars and deepened them in places to give the marks more prominence. I also started to build up the texture in his mane and sculpt it. This part of the job is going to be very time consuming. Having started with mid dark tones I now begin layering the strokes of light over dark over light.


Theres still quite a lot to be done with his mane, as well as placing the details on his snout. I don't think I'll be finished tonight but tomorrow my boys will be signed off.

05-06-2006, 09:44 AM
Spent a bit more time on his mane. It's now starting to get that thick layered look it needs.


I've also placed most of the finer details on Tombo's face with the exception of his whiskers, which will be done at the final stage after I've finished his mane.

Bhavana Vijay
05-06-2006, 10:00 AM

05-07-2006, 05:51 AM
Leigh this is going beautiful. keep watching and enjoying your work.
Let us know any news about your "Regal Slumber"

05-07-2006, 06:17 AM
Hi Peter, unfortunately Regal Slumber came home today. I was fairly unhappy to say the least. Ah well, can't allow myself to dwell on it too much..
Just about to get back out to the studio. The boys have been very well behaved today (unlike my kids!!!)
I should have the next update in about an hour.

05-07-2006, 08:06 AM
Leigh, dont be unhappy, this is a wonderful work and it was hand by hand with some of the best artists of the country, in one of the best shows I remember.

05-07-2006, 10:29 AM
Leigh, this is beautiful!!! You certainly have the knack for big cats! :thumbsup:

It's always luck of the draw whether a painting sells or not in a particular show, with so many other artists, but I have no doubt you'll find a home for them soon. Good luck! :)

-- Linda

05-07-2006, 11:01 AM
These looks so great, and your detail is wonderful!!!

Merethe T
05-07-2006, 12:58 PM
Aaaaah, brilliant work!!! Great color work,great details, all of it - GREAT!!!

05-07-2006, 01:23 PM
Fantastic starting sketch, the colors youíve laid in thus far certainly draw the viewer into the scene, this looks like it will be a great work of art, canít wait to see more, thank you.:clap:

05-07-2006, 08:49 PM
At last! I've finished them! Spent about three hours last night sculpting Tombo's mane and got back in this morning to place the finishing details.

Here's where I got up to last night


And now for the (almost) finished piece!


Just have a slight tweak of Tombo's nose to do. Of course I only just noticed that it wasn't quite right after i uploaded it! Ah well. the final piece will be up in a little while.

05-07-2006, 08:59 PM
Leigh, they are absolutely stunning, and it was such a lot of fun watching you bring them to life!!! Great show!!! :)

05-07-2006, 09:08 PM
The touch ups are now complete! I've readjusted Tombo's nose and also added some accents of red to liven up the darks a bit.


And heres a closeup


Thanks for watching! All comments welcome

05-07-2006, 09:13 PM

This came out really outstanding.
I like their expression alot.



05-08-2006, 09:22 AM
Just so fantastic!

05-09-2006, 11:51 PM
Jose - Thanks for your kind comments. It was the expressions that really grabbed me and made me want to paint them. Their personalities shine through so clearly.

Rita - Thanks for looking and making such a wonderful comment. I'm incredibly happy with the outcome of this.

05-10-2006, 12:04 AM
Glad you enjoyed the show Tres!

05-12-2006, 10:36 AM
Just a quick note, 6" x 8" framed prints of this piece are now available for purchase. Just send me a PM if you're interested! Thanks for looking

05-12-2006, 12:39 PM
Beautiful! I have enjoyed watching this develop. They are just perfect.