I recently gained some inspiration by looking through a relatively new portfolio of photographs by my favorite wildlife photographer, Nick Brandt. He has some absolutely sensational work which always gets me enthusiastic and itching to start a new pencil project, whenever I browse them.
Of course then comes the task of sourcing some decent reference photographs which I'm allowed to use without fear of breaching anyone's copyright. So I'm using four seperate reference photographs for this, two from the Paint My Photo reference library and two from Wet Canvas. I began the other evening by spending a couple of hours messing around with them in Photoshop to create a composition before printing it off. I'm having to invent some parts too, which were cropped out of the references. So all in all it's requiring a bit of extra thought and concentration this one. It's 16 x 24 inches, pencil on Stonehenge paper.
I'm now two sessions and about twelve hours in. I'm not intending to take many 'in-progress' scans, it's difficult to do because my paper is taped to a sheet of board to work on and therefore doesn't fit easily on my scanner bed. The above picture is three scans stitched together. But I decided to pause and take stock at this point. I find by putting it on the computer screen I can get a better idea of how things are progressing. To get the best composition and a good view of each of the group they are all at slightly different levels, with two further forward than the other two. My intention is to have the two furthest to the back cheetahs either on the crest of a rocky outcrop or perhaps a fallen tree log, I haven't decided yet. The background is to be quite minimal.