No Way – Leopard from Namur

Airbrushed by Ton Jansen


  • Canvas – 110 x 160 cm
  • Jacquard Airbrush Color
    • Transparent: Black, White, Red,Yellow & Blue
    • Opaque: White
  • Airbrush: Paasche Talon
  • Brush: Pointed 00 brush

Step 1
Using an airbrush and Jacquard’s Transparent Black, I painted the outlines of the leopard.

Step 2
I mixed a transparent brown using 5 drops of Transparent Yellow mixed with two drops of Transparent Red and two drops of Transparent Blue. I used that mixture to start the basecoat of the hairs on the leopard’s face.

Step 3
I painted in the wispy white hairs with Transparent White and a 00 pointed paintbrush. Painting a few hundred hairs took me several hours of work. It was really worthwhile, though, because of the depth that it brings into the fur. Slowly the painting started coming alive.

Step 4
I sprayed a light coat of paint (a mixture of yellow and red) to give the fur a nice, warm, orange glow. In the picture you can see that I didn’t spray over the lighter parts of the fur (especially not over the white).

Step 5
I slowly built up the colors with the same transparent brown I mixed in the beginning. I sprayed in the first color on the nose. In the white parts of the fur, I sprayed in some shadows. I also mixed some transparent black and white together to make a soft grey.

Step 6
I worked slowly on the darkest shadows, using soft layers of paint to build up to the desired effect.

Step 7
Working on the mouth, I started with a mixture of red and white (the first colors on the tongue). Then, I added a light coat of yellow on the teeth.

Step 8
I wanted to achieve an out-of-focus background to bring the viewer’s attention to the leopard in the foreground. With different mixed colors (green, yellow and grey), and with a greater distance from my canvas, I slowly sprayed in the colors to achieve the desired effect. I started to work on the lower part of the body.

Step 9
I finished the lower part of the body and also painted in the last details and highlights. I added some highlights on the teeth, mouth and hair.

Step 10
The last step is always the best part of the painting! I painted the whiskers with a 00 pointed paintbrush and some Opaque White (right out of the bottle). With one stroke from the brush, there is extremely good coverage.

This final stage of painting always gives me mixed feelings. On one hand, I am glad it is finished, but on the other hand, I am sad to say goodbye. Don’t worry, though, there is a new, blank canvas waiting for me!

Ton Jansen Airbrush Art

Higuey – Dominican Republic

Finished project

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No Way – Leopard from Namur