The African Lion is a majestic predator, and one of the most admired animals on the planet. Michael decided to paint the head life size, as he didn’t think a smaller image would do it justice. By making the head life size, it is more intimidating, and as such it more accurately conveys the feeling of power and majesty that is synonymous with male African lions. It also provides more license for detail and colour variations. In addition, the head being off-centre in the study creates movement in comparison with the normal central head study.
The work is inspired by Makulu, who was the leader of the legendary Mopogo coalition that controlled the Sabi Sand region in Kruger National Park.