This is the original photo by Paul Sawford (below)
Firstly I traced the tiger out onto 350 gsm watercolour paper, textured, by Seawhite of Brighton, making sure that I denoted changes of shape and tone.
Next I masked off any smaller whiskers and hairs that would overlap darks. I used white masking fluid from Winsor and Newton and a nib pen.
With the exception of a few areas that I wanted to leave paint-free, I applied a light wash of very diluted lamp black watercolour to the whole piece. I didn’t worry about blooms because I knew that they’d be hidden by subsequent layers. Whilst wet, I pulled out some of the fur with a thin rigger brush.
Next I applied my darkest tones. This means that it’d be easier for me to work out a range of mid tones later.
I then went onto apply a range of mid tones working wet on dry and wet into wet, predominantly using a round synthetic size 12 brush, regularly swapping to a rigger if I needed flicks. These techniques created a mix of hard and soft edges. I made sure that some of my lighter under layers peeped through. This helped preserve the sense of depth.
Finally I added black watercolour and white acrylic ink splashes. I rubbed of the masking fluid and knocked the brightness back by adding a little light black watercolour
The finished piece!