Wildlife paintings, portraits & pet portraits by New Zealand Artist Karen Neal

"Snowy Mountain Queen"

Pastel (100cm x 70cm)
Original Available

Exhibiting at the PANZ (Pastel Artists of New Zealand) national exhibition, Morrinsville, in March/April 2017.

The background was painted of the mountains instinctually... a monochromatic painting, with a hint of green in her eyes.

Snow leopards are endangered, with ongoing poaching and habitat loss. There is only an estimated 6000 left in the world, with 600-700 in zoos. Exact numbers in the wild have not been determined due to the snow leopard’s shy elusive nature. Snow leopards are found at altitudes between 9,800 and 17,000 feet in the harsh, remote, mountainous areas of Afghanistan to Kazakstan and Russia in the north, with the majority located in the Himalayas of India & Tibetan region of China.

It is important for zoos to have breeding programmes in place with these beautiful endangered animals if we are to see them in generations to come. This particular snow leopard is the beautiful Mirucha who resides in Tama Zoo, Tokyo, and photographed whilst I visited the park with photographer friend Steve Tracy... I'd used several of Steve's beautiful photographs before (particularly snow leopards) as reference, so was lovely to meet with Steve and see these stunningly beautiful big cats in person.

Snow Leopard pastel painting

Here is the reference photo I took at Tama Zoo, of the beautiful Mirucha. Love those tails! I photoshopped the background to see what she would look like in monochrome.

Working on the piece, this photos gives you a sense of scale

Snow Leopard pastel painting by Artist Karen Neal

On the easel (framed photo to come)

snow leopard painting

"Snow Mountain Queen" in the studio to show scale, with Karen and her Russian Blue cat Koshka

Karen Neal snow leopard painting


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