Tag Archives: Cheetah

Cheetah in Oils part 2

Anyway back to the Cheetah…

So when we left this guy, I had pretty much finished the background.

I left it to thoroughly dry and while I was waiting 2 things happened:

unison-colour-pastels-all1 Some Unison pastels arrived, so I started on a pastel Serval that used to live in somebody’s bathroom, but more of that in a future post.


M-Graham-walnut-oil2 My order of
M Graham walnut oil and solvent free oils turned up.  I’d been looking to try this for a while and I thought the set was good value (from Amazon, but only available in the states).
It’s an oil recommended by Jason Morgan who produces some great wildlife art, so I thought I’de see what its like.

I have started to use it on the cheetah along with my Griffin Alkydd oils and it creates a nice flow for the detail work so far.

Anyway here is the gallery of the progress so far on the next stages of the Cheetah. Enjoy…

I must admit I find oils hard work sometimes, I don’t think I’m quite there with my techniques yet – still lots to learn, but that’s half the fun!

See you next time with a bit more progress.

I’m off to make a dragon now!

Jiily x


Wildlife Heritage Foundation

Its not a day out unless you get up at silly O’Clock is it?

For us, it had to be 5 am! What! I don’t even get up at that time during the week let alone a Saturday. So what tempted me out of my snuggly warm bed…?

What a fab place to spend the day.  the Wildlife Heritage Foundation is in Smarden in Kent, so about 2.5 hours from us.  I had booked a photography day for my husband John, sister-in-law Helen and me.

John is a professional photographer and Helen is a very keen amateur.  I just snap away and sometimes get lucky 🙂

From an artists viewpoint, the WHF is a fab place to top up your reference shots.  You can see from those I’ve posted that there are times when you can get a lens through the enclosure grid…

Brian the Sweet friendly Cheetah
Brian the Sweet friendly Cheetah
Amur Leopard waiting for a morsel of meat
Amur Leopard waiting for a morsel of meat




…and time when you just have to hope its out of focus enough.

It’s not so bad for an artist because we have the ability to ‘see past’ the out of focus grid and turn it into a great piece.

So there we were trying not to be dragged in for a close-up with the Amur Leopards when the cry went up from behind that the most dangerous animal in the park was marching around…

The most dangerous animal in the park
The most dangerous animal in the park

The funniest thing is that this little lady was fearless when it came to her babies.  She had to be ‘escorted’ to the lake behind the clouded leopards, in case one of the inmates decided on duck for lunch!

All in all a fantastic day out and if you’re a wildlife artist – its heaven.






Cheetah in Oils

What a busy Easter weekend we had! Hope yours was as packed.

I started off thinking that I would finally be able to put my website overhaul behind me – yeah that’ll be Friday done, then I can start painting.

So Friday came and I did a little web updating and found a few other bits that I needed to fix before I could move on – then we took John’s mum out to lunch. A little more web weaving after lunch, bit still much to do. In addition to that John noticed that the hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard seemed to be leaking – keep our eye on that then…

So came Saturday and a little more web weaving, but I found that I should also spend a little time on my blog! Oh well – we took John’s dad to lunch this time and had a mooch around a garden centre; maybe Saturday afternoon would see off my web site! Well it didn’t, but it did see an increase in the hot water tank leak. Oh Lord – a plumber and at Easter.

Ever hopeful Sunday came and I found myself searching for html code to create a workshop booking form.  John had a photo shoot, so after he’d marched upstairs with a wrench to wage war on the cylinder, he beetled off to the studio and I was left to my own devices to play with html and cook that new lamb recipe ha ha!

Then it crept up on me like the end of a painting – I was finished!!!!! There was nothing left to do on the Website or my blog WHOO HOO, paint and easel here I come.

So beautiful Easter Monday came and I have had a whole day of painting – bliss! Even the plumber delivering the expected news that we need a new hot water cylinder didn’t dampen my mood (See what I did there? Lol)

Anyway, here is progress so far…

Cheetah from ref by John Tisbury
Support: Cotton canvas
Medium: Griffin Alkyd oils
51cm x 41cm
(20″ x 16″)

All in all a fab Easter weekend. Hope you enjoyed the Cheetah gallery. More in a couple of days.

J x

Mephisto and friends

This weekend I had the pleasure of a Vic Bearcroft tuition day.

There were 18 of us in total in a little village hall in Tollerton, Nottinghamshire – a small but perfectly formed group.

My reason for booking this day is that I wanted to ‘loosen up’ a little.  Plus I’m thinking of offering tuition myself and it was a good opportunity to check out the competition 🙂

Being a qualified trainer I firmly believe in continual learning.  No matter how long you’ve been at something there is always something new to learn and this weekend was no exception.

Our goal was to work on a portrait of Mephisto, a beautiful Cheetah from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent.

Vic ran through the tradional basics of defining shape and form through tone, before moving on to underpainting, strengthening the colour, adding the detail and finally adjusting the contrast to finish the picture.

All in all it was a great day and I met some lovely friendly people.

The gallery below give you an idea of what we got up to:

The piece was created on velour, which is my favourite medium – particularly for fur.  There are still many layers to go before the piece is completed, but I will eventually get to it.  William the Bengal kitten is my priority at the moment as he is my current commission, then I have one more piece to create for my penultimate college assignment.  More on that after William is completed, so watch this space…