Oil on gessoboard (10 × 8 inches)
I love painting eyes and really enjoyed painting this gorgeous leopard’s eye.
The leopard (Panthera pardus) has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, although it is of smaller and slighter build.
Its fur is marked with similar rosettes to those of the jaguar, though the leopard’s rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and the leopard’s rosettes do not usually have central spots as the jaguar’s do.
The species’ success in the wild owes in part to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph), its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth.
Leopards may sometimes be confused with two other large spotted cats, the cheetah and the jaguar. However, the patterns of spots in each are different: the cheetah has simple spots, evenly spread; the jaguar has small spots inside the polygonal rosettes; while the leopard normally has rounder, smaller rosettes than those of the jaguar.
The leopard is larger and much more muscular than the cheetah, but slightly smaller and more lightly built than the jaguar. The leopard’s rosettes are circular in East Africa but tend to be squarer in southern Africa.
The leopard is known for its ability in climbing, and it has been observed resting on tree branches during the day, dragging its kills up trees and hanging them there, and descending from trees headfirst. (wiki)