Black Panther Illustration

creating a mix media illustration_black panther a very powerful totem

Hi friends,

We have just come in November and it seems incredible that October has gone so fast! It has been a busy month, where I have completed an amazing online course on EDX  Natural History Illustration by the Newcastle University (Australia), where I have learnt and I have practiced very much with the pencil.

For the final project, I chose to draw a black panther, as I have felt always very attracted for the big cats and this one in particular has attached a very especial symbolism.

It is a very powerful totem, where the physical and mental strength, courage and capacity to inspire others are included (you can read more about black panther totem here)

I really wanted to create a final illustration with this animal, so I used my final project for this course as the base for it.

As usual, I have worked with a mixed media technique: pencil, watercolor and digital.



First, I started by drawing my black panther with pencils. I used for this a regular A4 paper and pencils from HB for the initial sketches to 4B to create darker shadows.

As you can see in the drawing, I tried to follow the natural hair direction of the animal.



After that, I prepared some different types of tropical branches and flowers using watercolor. I wanted a big contrast with the pencil drawing, so I used vibrant colours such as green, blue and red.

black panther illustration


In this step, it is time to scan all the motifs for the illustration: our panther created with pencil and our plants created with watercolor.

In this previous post you can see which are the usual presets I manage to scan watercolors motifs. I kept the same for scanning the panther.


When I had my different motifs ready after scanning them, I used Photoshop to adjust the colour levels and to cut the different motifs separately into layers to use them as I needed.

Finally, all the different pieces of this illustration were assembled together in another Photoshop file, adding some personal digital touches here and there.


Here you can see the final illustration.

black panther illustration

What do you think of the mix media technique? Do you like the contrast of pencils and watercolors in this black panther illustration?

And do you feel represented by this powerful totem or do you know someone who could be? 🙂

Thanks for reading and a big hug from Spain!


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