Dimensions (HxW): 14" x 11"
Description: A somber Lion looks out across his domain in this Charcoal Lion drawing. In 2013, this particular lion drawing became a permanent 5'x5' textured wall installation in all 23 elevator lobbies of the newly remodeled InterContinental Hotel in downtown Chicago.
I have a deep appreciation for the gentle yet powerful aesthetic of lions. I think they present an interesting dichotomy between exercising serene calm and fierce instincts for survival. As a visual artist I've attempted to draw hundreds of lions over the years, but I was particularly inspired during the summer of 2006 to create a series of unique African wildlife drawings.
The artwork started with a feeling, and I briskly searched out the facial structure of the lion with charcoal on paper. I energetically smudged and smeared impressionistic shadows with my fingers, leaving fingerprints visible in soft areas around the mane and face. Lastly, I applied white chalk highlights around the eyes and mouth in order to accentuate details and help guide the viewer's eye around the completed artwork. The slight downward gaze, soft shadows and stark contrast helps convey the gentle yet powerful feeling that initially inspired the lion drawing.
Personally, I imagine the lion evokes a sense of calm introspection and awareness of responsibility as protector of the pride, and king of the jungle.