Painting animals

Painting Tigers

Hey everyone! Remember Kathleen’s tiger painting from a while  back? If not, here’s what it looks like:


It’s pretty cool, so I thought, hey, why not do a tiger myself? Kath took one of the best positions, so I wracked my brains to come up with an equally cool tiger. I was searching watercolor paint kits, and I came across a cool painting done in watercolor. Now, I am not a good watercolor painter. I just can’t figure it out, so I did a bit of research and found out that you can make acrylic paint look like watercolor if you dilute with enough, well, water.

Here are a few cool fast facts about Siberian tigers [info courtesy of
10.75 ft (3.3 m)
660 lbs (300 kg)
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration of Siberian tiger compared with adult man

I really like the size relative to man at the bottom. Anyway. here’s the sketched out version of my new painting.


If you can’t tell, it’s an adult tiger with it’s cub. I can’t tell you how hard this was for me to draw. This is on stretched canvas too, so all the odds were stacked against me with this painting.

Unlike my other paintings, I started with the positive space instead of the negative space. (Positive space is the subject, in this case, the two tigers, and negative space is the area surrounding the subject.)


I mixed a bit of pure orange with yellow ocher to get the color of the fur. Don’t worry though. I know they look a bit like Chester Cheetah in the Cheetos commercials, but this is just the first layer.

After that, I invited a bit of burnt sienna to the party to tone down the neon orange. I also added some primary yellow undertones to the tigers’ bellies and gave the baby tiger his stripes.


I stared giving the adult tiger her stripes too, but lo and behold, I messed up. But have no fear! Daler Rowney Simply Acrylic White paint is here! I picked this up at Wal-mart last weekend and it’s been an absolute lifesaver. It’s somewhat different from the small tubes of white paint I’ve used in the past because it’s much more opaque, which is helpful when one accidentally adds too many stripes on their acrylic tiger.



Once I got over that small mishap, I painted over the dried white paint with orange and finished adding the stripes.


If you’re wondering what the little strokes of paint on each of the baby tiger’s feet are, that’s to remind me that the tiger’s feet are sunk in the snow.

Speaking of snow, I’ll add that now.


I have some silver paint that I applied to a paper towel and sponged it around the top of the painting. On the lower half of the canvas, I just used the same paper towel and applied the paint in long, sweeping motions.

That’s it! You couldn’t tell because I put all the pictures in at once, but this painting took me two days to do (granted, I finished the drawing at about ten o’clock at night and needed to sleep). If you’re like me and have lots of paint still on your palette and want to take a break, put it in a air tight container or use a palette knife to scrape the paint into separate airtight containers.

I think that I have an idea for my next drawing… Maybe something from Harry Potter… (thank you again for that great suggestion, Aunt Kath!) It probably will NOT be in the next post though 🙂 it’s a pretty detailed drawing I’m planning… Good thing I have a few more post on painting to publish!

That’s all for now! Keep on the lookout for new posts!

~Elizabeth and Kathleen


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