Totems – What Animal Are You? – The Lioness

The Lioness – Original Watercolour Painting 

The Lioness

Just recently I was asked by one of my collectors – Ashley – to paint a lioness as a representation of one of her family members – April. Ashley has built up a selection of watercolour animal totems for her family ranging from a majestic eagle to a gentle doe and plans to showcase them in her home when the collection is complete.

The Lioness in animal symbolism is linked to subconscious thought (as she is a nocturnal hunter and because night is an ancient symbol of the subconscious – or dream states). In addition I found this piece below about the further qualities of lionesses:-

“It’s interesting that the lion is considered by many ancient cultures to be a solar animal symbol, however it is primarily a nocturnal creature, conducting its hunting activity mostly at night. Further, the lioness is considered a lunar animal.
This serves as a symbolic message of balance and sound judgment. In that the lion shares the world of both night and day, the lion bears a message of prudence to us. In other words, the lion asks us to not overdo in certain areas of our lives. Rather, keep an even mind and an overall balance in our life activities.
Other than a symbol for strength, other symbolic attributes of the lion include:
Courage -Power -Royalty -Dignity -Authority -Dominion -Justice- Wisdom-Ferocity” 

Very rough preliminary sketch/doodle

In the painting process I chose Arches watercolour paper from France. The surface is Hot pressed and very smooth and is acid free. 100% cotton rag paper that is superb to work on and allows for many subtleties and granulatiosn in the painting. I like to cause purposeful runs and blotches and often flick water at the painting to make a mess. Don’t ask me why I just do. I like some disorder within the overall control.

Here are a few steps from my painting progress. I was so engaged with this creature that I forgot to stop often enough to take all the steps!

Tighter and more balanced drawing – ready to paint.

Initial washes of Raw Sienna, Cadmium Scarlet, New Gamboge and Burnt Umber. I used very pale violet greys under her chin. White is not easy to paint on white paper so you can only paint its shadows!

The Lioness – Original Watercolour Painting 

How do you know which animal is you?

You may find out by visiting my animal watercolour gallery at Eastwitching and see which animal resonates with you!

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4 thoughts on “Totems – What Animal Are You? – The Lioness

  1. Thank you Cynthia for sharing how this painting makes you feel:) I really wish I had stopped more often to take more photos of the process! Next time…What are you working on at th emoment? Happy painting – Alison

  2. Thank you Cynthia for sharing how this painting makes you feel:) I really wish I had stopped more often to take more photos of the process! Next time…What are you working on at th emoment? Happy painting – Alison

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