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The above is a gouache resist. I have painted quite a few of these and left several in their black and white form. I like the suggestion of “block print” that they seem to carry with them. The full process for doing one of these can be found here.

This is the largest one I’ve painted and I was nervous about how it would take during the rinsing process. I didn’t need to worry. However, with another small one, I learned I must wait patiently for the ink to dry thoroughly and not rush it with a hair dryer. The hairdryer causes some ink to work through the gouache. A more clear image will appear if you allow the ink phase to air dry.



  1. Brilliant! Strikingly powerful and detailed, yet, with a kitten quality. Love this one Les.

    • Wow! Thank you, that is exactly what I wanted to pass on, the powerful but not so intimidating.

  2. Wow, what a face! Those eyes are so striking. And I can see what you mean about it having a certain unusual quality like block printing. He’s certainly a beauty!

    • Thank you. Thank you! I love how much you put into the eyes of your creations, Cindy. These eyes caused me some fits, I had to be very careful because they were the same colors as the coat and yet glassy light.

  3. Oh those eyes! I can hear him purring. I love the stripes and the lights around the eyes and face, and those whiskers! The background, to me, creates just a little tension in the air, a motion blur, a reminder this big kitty is wild and is probably hearing my heart beat faster with those attentive ears; I hope you fed him 🙂 This is an amazing painting, Leslie, beautiful.

    • I tried something with the background by lightly using the gouache on that so some ink would bleed through but not be solid black, allowing me to give some color to the background. It does have a sense of tension or motion blur to it. Thank you for pointing that out, Scott. Thank you for commenting on the eyes. I think I worked the longest on those. I did one of a close up of a tiger face on masa paper a couple years ago and the eyes were easier as they were green and not the color of the tiger.

  4. Wonderful!

  5. Lovely Leslie. I was wondering ….how large is it? the learning process can be daunting, but I think it is fun to know that a new form will eventually emerge.

    • Hi Gretchen,
      This painting is 14.5 by 16 inches. Too big to fit under my home sink for rinsing. Used a large custodial sink at the school to demo the rinsing process. I would have had to use the hose or the tub faucet at home. I like doing these. There is a surprise factor and you sort of offer up your work to the powers that be once you decide when to stop applying the gouache. Thank you, so much!

  6. Oh, he’s “G-R-E-A-T!!!” I love that sweet look on this guy’s face. I often wonder how similar to cats personalities these big cats really are. They just have so much more power!

    • Thankyou, Sherry! I don’t know a lot about tigers. I imagine a mouse might tell us that a housecat has the same powerful look. 🙂

  7. Stunning colours again. Perfect!

  8. Such an expressive and beautiful result you have there Leslie, powerfully emotive, as the eyes add something extra, they meet yours expressing what? a sharing of compassion perhaps, that makes you want to reach out and hug, although you know ‘twould be a mistake, probably your last in real life. 😉 xPenx

    • Have only been as close to a tiger as an enclosure at a zoo allows. I would rather paint them this way, though. I even have problems with life that could be free but for our desire to pen them. I understand the extinct arguements, but it is still difficult to stand looking at a life that could enjoy a personal lifetime in the wild.

      • I agree so much, Leslie, the arguments in favour say we must preserve, and they do have more humane ‘pens’ open and hopefully less stressful, but still the heart says one thing and the head says another. Nevertheless, your Tiger is shining bright xxx

      • Thank you, Pen! 🙂

  9. Love the way you captured his sweet face, Leslie.

  10. Ah Leslie! You are not in your “blue phase” ! You are in your “tiger phase”! This is so well done! Delicate and powerful! Striking colors and lines! I like it a lot!

    • The tiger caught my eye the day I was planning both classes dealing with ink and watercolor. That question, “what if” lured on by the fur, the stripes, the paws in the earlier one and the eyes and ears in this one. Thank you, so much, Isabelle!

  11. Your cats always have such personality, Leslie. I think I would find it intimidating to have to think so much in reverse for the ink set. It is reminiscent of a block print, but so large. I have trouble with 5×7. LOL

    • I will have to admit that the more of these I do, the easier they become to gouache. I have learned to tilt the image this way and that in the light and see where I have applied the gouache. That said, the washing off of ink presents a feeling of of suspense I rather like. It must be the same for you as you print your first linocut from an image you have created. Thank you, Ruth! 🙂

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