Resting Warrior

30″ x 18″ original wildlife painting

On one of the daily game drives during my 2013 wildlife research expedition to Africa and Botswana, we found ourselves following three male lions through the dense brush. Occasionally, they would lie down, rest for a spell, and then continue on their sojourn. In this moment, their objective turned to searching for the river so that they could grab a quick drink.

I’m especially partial to documenting wildlife during the African winter as the grasses are seasonably coloured in rich tones of ochre, tan and yellow umber. The complement of these colours against the animals is truly incredible.

The lion depicted in this painting was quite scarred in the face, particularly on the nose, and the character he displayed was astounding. Slightly foaming at the jowls, scars (both fresh and healed), missing teeth, tattered and torn hair and hide… these are the real life elements I refuse to omit in any painting I create. Simply put, you would never see this in captive animals.