Malawi (excerpt) (c) Kathleen Hall
Malawi (excerpt) (c) Kathleen Hall

I’m expanding my repertoire of critters. The lion who served as the model for this painting lives at a zoo in Pennsylvania. He is a stunning, handsome creature and I hope I captured some of his essence. This is an excerpt of his head. See the full painting at my online gallery.

lion head close up excerpt

You can see I used quite a lot of paint, especially to create the thick mane. In person, the knife strokes sit up off the canvas and look a bit like bead work the way they reflect the light. This guy had a dense black band of fur, which really set off his face and gave him an imposing presence. It would boring to use tans and browns–and not really my style. I used a lot of purples, oranges and greens, especially to mix the dark areas.

I’ve been experimenting with painted borders on some of my recent paintings. Usually ¬†they are black, sometimes just on the right and left sides. For this painting, I used the orange in the painting for the outside border–the complement of the purple from the inner background–to create a bit of tension and energy.