Cheetahs are enigmatic and perhaps the most intriguing of all
the big cats to me, says artist Simon Combes of the subject
of First Light. My encounters with cheetahs have been like meeting
a person who has poise, elegance, class, fleeting moments of warmth
and yet tantalizingly aloof. The challenge of painting cheetahs is
two-fold: firstly, the chest is so pronounced in comparison to the
head that in certain positions the animal can look positively grotesque.
Secondly, I am often stumped at portraying the cats mood
what is it thinking behind that mask of haughty distain? So serious,
so intent, so reserved, does this animal ever relax and have fun?