Michael always enjoys painting big cats, especially with pastel, as they seem to lend themselves to that medium. Mainly because you’re drawing and painting at the same, and you can paint the fur more easily as the sticks are all premixed. You do all your mixing on the pastel board, which saves a lot of time. You just need an eye for it.
He chose to paint this wildlife portrait in a vignette style as it lends itself to a fading out of the work – something which is appropriate for an animal known as the ghost of the mountain. The black spots break up the light areas of fur, which is ideal camouflage for one of the world’s most elusive big cats. While the pensive and piercing blue eyes, along with the pink tones in the tongue add a splash of colour to the work.
The snow leopard, also known as the ounce, is native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is also the national animal of Pakistan.