Amber the Cheetah

"A Close-up of Amber"

Amber, a real live cheetah that lives in the Masi-Mara in Tanzania, was the inspiration behind this drawing. She is named Amber because of the color of her eyes. Amber is featured on a BBC sponsered nature show called Big Cat Diary, and this pose came from a photo from the Official BBC Big Cat Diary Homepage. Big Cat Diary has become my favorite TV show, and I tape it every week. It is because of Amber that cheetahs became my favorite animal.

I had wanted to draw this picture for a long time and I even attempted it once in college and gave up. I had cause for new inspiration however because of a larger art project which was a drawing of a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon patrol bomber. I wanted this Amber drawing for the bomber's nose art. Instead of drawing a tiny cheetah on the nose of the plane, I drew this large and detailed picture to be scaled down to fit on the aircraft's nose. A lot of work for a crummy bomber detail, but I also get to enjoy the splendid results of this full sized drawing. It turned out so well infact, that when I saw it through my scanner's pre-scan window I said, "Wow! It's like I'm looking at a photograph!" I always felt that the mixture of light colored pencils and black pigment ink looked stunning, but it takes a lot of work. From start to finish this drawing took well over 5 hours to complete.

The rough pencil work was done on 80lb. medium surface Strathmore drawing paper with a .05mm mechanical pencil loaded with 5H lead. The pencil lines were darkened with 2HB lead. The result was darkened and cleaned up with Paint Shop Pro 3 and printed on fax/copy paper. The printout was colored with Crayola colored pencils and the inking was done with a Pigma Micron 08 pen. The background gradient and the lettering was done with Paint Shop Pro 7.02.

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All text and original multimedia is © 2001 Daniel Keller. All other information is copyrighted by their respective owners.