Hello, I am working up a tutorial / project for my grandaughter who wanted to try a baby cheetah. She is seven will be eight this summer.
The reference photo that I picked for her is a baby Cheetah sitting amongst other adult Cheetahs. This way, there won't be any complicated background to paint, just a bunch of spots in varying degrees of light yellows surrounding the baby cheetah's face.
Plus, spots are fun and I'm planing to show her a bit of a 'blur' technique that I figured out from research on my last elk so that the spots in the back will look like they are 'in the back of the cheetah's face.' There will be some depth to the painting, if all goes well.
Next I enlarged the reference photo (which I now have done at a copy store to make life easy on myself) big enough to fit a 24" X 30" canvas. Traced the pic on with copy paper, very lightly, that I get from Staples or Office Depot, in the typwriter section.
I wanted a large painting so there would be plenty of room for her to fit all that she wants in the Cheetah's eyeballs. I lightened the photo on my computer and had that printed off; now you can see how much is going on in the cheetah eyes, which she can choose to put in, or not.
Next I painted a very light under painting.. designed to help keep the eyes, nose and mouth in the proper areas, when it's completed, plus to get some paint down because they always seem to need a couple of coats before the canvas stops showing through.
My plan is teach her how to use some of my fur brushes and make fur like strokes and impressions .
And just because I have a really Good Feeling
that it's going to turn out wonderful, I bought a piece of foam board so that she'll be able to hang it afterwards without having to frame it or do anything fancy... and it will just "float on the wall."
I found the last idea from the following WC thread, Post #5
.. How to hang a canvas panel... (there of course was more than one solution)
So here's where it is at the moment, I will post the final project when finished! And finally, there is a pic she drew for me and you can see she's already interested in animals and wildlife