Mountain Lions


Mountain lions to me are very special. They roam the area as one of the main predators where our family ranch is located in the Big Bend area, notably , the Chihuahuan Desert. Even though I have never seen one personally there, I have seen their tracks, scat and "left overs." There is an incident where I thought I saw one but I was too young and it may have been a bobcat. The only thing that points to it being a cougar is the high terrain it was in, over some boulders, more of a cougar trait. The only one I have seen in the wild was in the four corners area of the southwest. I saw it across a canyon thru binoculars. It was trying to find a resting spot in ancient Anasazi ruins. It was like a postcard shot. The colors, the setting and the sky, just amazing and one of the moments I will treasure. It would occasionally look at me as I hiked away adjacent to him.


As a young boy along with my father I had a very amazing experience. Maybe it was heightened due to the fact that I was young, but here is what I remember.

My father and I were in the mountain range of our family land trying to hunt mule deer. We hiked mountain over mountain cautiously keeping our eyes open for the deer. I remember the excitement being overwhelming. To me it didn't matter if our hunt was successful I loved hiking the mountains. The rocks, the bugs, the plants and cacti of the region was my checklist.


As we walked over a mountain my dad all of a sudden stopped. My first reaction was we spotted deer. But it wasn't the case. We had came across a mountain lion liar. He told me to be aware and stay close. The cave was made by the boulders in the area. The tracks were numerous made in the soft dirt throughout the cave. In the middle lay a front hoof of a average sized deer. Still flexible at the toe. I was excited and frightened at the same time. I was honored to have been where a mountain lion once stood but also frightened at what could happen. We left cautiously. Watching and listening for anything that could warn us. I'm sure the well fed puma was watching our every step from up on the canyon or boulder because I could sense being watched. I badly wanted to take that deer foot as a souvenir but dad didn't think it was a good idea. I remember placing my hand on the pumas track and feeling such an honor to touch where a lion once stood...


Every time I draw mountain lions I I think of my father. The mountain lion, his favorite animal, reminds him of our families' land, those beautiful mountains, the smell of the creosote bush (greasewood) and the open Big Bend air.

I also think of my "big sister" in Taos Pueblo. I miss her cooking, her backyard and my extended family there. Her favorite animal, the mountain lion...


The materials I used are pretty basic.

Ballpoint pen for layout. The ink is waterproof and great for a light sketch if one feels comfortable enough to sketch with. I also do use pencils but on this piece I used the ballpoint.

The brushes are Pental and Derwent Waterbrushes with just water in them. Occasionally I like to put in drops of pigment in them but keep those brushes seperate from the ones with just water.

FW Acrylic ink. I water down the FW ink and use it as a wash. The colors stay very vibrant throughout.

The watercolor set I use is a pocket field box made by Sakura called Koi Watercolors. I have this one because its what I found at an art store and have been pleased with it enough to buy more little replacements.

I also started using gouache, I haven't quite truly understood the medium yet, but like what Ive been seeing so far. I feel like a kid with a new toy. (Thanks Jaw Cooper

The pencils are all water soluble but both types are different. The Derwent Inktense are soulble at first but once dried are waterproof. I love the vibrancy on these pencils. The others are Caran d'Ache Supracolor II soft. These remain workable throughout.

The white is the COPIC opaque white. I also like to use regular white acrylic but I didn't on this piece. 

Enjoy the video,

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