'Az K'namer' ('Bold as a Leopard') finished at last!

After working on this painting for almost a year, it is finally finished!
I started this painting in the wake of the first Jewish Art Fair in June 2018. I have always loved this imagery from in Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers) used to describe how the individual should serve Hashem (G-d), and looking for inspiration for a new painting, I decided it was time to take this on. It was a challenge to get the composition right, particularly balancing where the text should go, but much harder was getting the proportions of the animals, especially as I used several reference images for each one. I have never attempted to paint animals with oils before and I found the experience incredibly enjoyable, probably because I've always loved doing faces. Working out the background was also a stumbling block, it needed to complement the animals but not distract from them. During the course of this painting, I particularly enjoyed using Mauve Blue Shade, which really gave the yellows luminescence.
I hope you like this new piece and I'd love to hear your comments - please be in touch via the contact me page.
Here you can see some of the stages of my progress: the initial sketch, the animals starting to come to life and the almost complete painting that just needed the background resolved and a few other areas.

Initial sketch

Taking shape

Almost there