Friday, May 31, 2019


For our last week of spring session art classes, we created LIONS!

For those artists acquainted with the Chronicles of Narnia, our goal was create Aslan, the wise talking lion. 

These lions were rendered with soft pastels and charcoal pencils on tan sulphite paper.

First we carefully observed resource photos of lions and lion art, especially the art of LeRoy Nieman, whose lions and other animals are painted in a rainbow of colors!

Then we lightly sketched the shape of the lion's face, making sure it was not too small. We placed the facial features and began the process of filling in the face using natural "lion colors" such as brown, tan, sepia, gold, white, yellow. 

We blended and shaded using our fingers, then we used a charcoal pencil to add black details to the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Now it was time to add the mane. We started with some of the same natural colors, laying in wavy lines of each color and smoothing it into the paper with our finger before going on the the next color. (Hint: keep a rag nearby to clean your fingers when changing colors!)

Next we added a few unexpected colors such as blue, violet, green, turquoise and pink, and finally white for added sparkle! 

Now our lions were getting really interesting!

At this stage we sprayed the artwork with workable fixative so that we wouldn't smear them while adding the final details.

Now it was time to add details using our soft charcoal pencil.

This included additional lines in the mane for shadows, furry edges around the face and ears, and of course, the whiskers!

Each lion has a unique look and personality that reflects the artistic style of its artist.

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