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Snow Leopard Leather Mask by merimask Snow Leopard Leather Mask by merimask
I've been working on this design for quite some time; a snow leopard mask.

Snow leopards have been my favorite big cat since I was a little kid. While I was researching this mask, I learned lots of interesting stuff about snow leopards. Like, for example, they used to be classified as a form of leopard (panthera) but DNA tests show that they are more closely related to tigers! So, they exist in their own little sub-classification (uncia).

But yeah, that makes sense to me because they have the large eyes and wedge-shaped flattened head that looks far more like a tiger than the squared-off elongated head of a leopard. Artists notice this stuff.

It helped me come up with my pattern; I just modified my Tiger mask pattern (smaller muzzle, sleeker jawline) and it seemed to work perfectly.

As ever, this mask is made from one piece of hand carved 8 ounce tooling leather. All those little hairs are cut by hand. The mask is shaped with water, heat-set, and painted with Liquitex Acrylic paints.

This is a limited edition, numbered original available for a short time at my Etsy shop: [link]
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:iconremixwesker:
RemixWesker Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*о*
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:iconjessadraw:
Jessadraw Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
OMFG I LUV THIS

to u take requests??????
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:iconluusan:
Luusan Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
lovely! one of my favorites of yours, i think.
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you really captured this unique and beautiful cat!
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:icondragona742:
dragona742 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really nice job!!! :clap:
Reply
:iconmishikaiya:
Mishikaiya Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Snow leopards are my favorite big cat too. And you did such a lovely job with this mask.
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:iconniniriaz:
NiniriAZ Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
More kitteh masks....This one's adorable!
Reply
:iconagorphia:
Agorphia Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Looks great, and kind of cute!
Reply
:iconcoreythorn:
coreythorn Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love this, great work. :)
Reply
:iconmyntkat:
MyntKat Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Gorgeous! It looks like it has a bit of a metallic sheen to it. I love the round shape of the eyes on this one and the nose is really cute. :D
Reply
:icondancingdragon:
DancingDragon Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
And here I feared you had slipped off the radar! Good to see more of your work! :D
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:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) Yep, I'm still here. Plugging along. ;-)
Reply
:iconkurai-katara:
kurai-katara Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome! I would fave multiple times if I could, and buy it too, but funds are tight.

Oh well, I'm sure someone will give it a lovely home. I'll just wait til I can afford to custom order a mask :3
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) I can tell from your icon that these are favorite animals!
Reply
:iconcyborgagent017:
cyborgagent017 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
Amazing! It's beautiful!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)
Reply
:iconlonewylfe:
lonewylfe Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
I never knew that about snow leopards; that's pretty neat! This is really pretty. I like how the spots feather out into the fur the way real spots do.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) The spots are different. I usually actually carve around spots & stripes...more stylized but easier to reproduce with a pattern.

This time I carved all the fur & then lightly etched the spots as a second layer of transfer design, so I could have reproduceable patterns but a more realistic effect. Worth the effort. :-)
Reply
:iconwandering-dreamer:
wandering-dreamer Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
Wow, your masks are normally pretty darn detailed but this is amazing! You can really see all the extra work that went into it, very lovely!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) Yeah, the carving & then the 3 layers of color really made this a complicated design but it works.
Reply
:iconoraien:
Oraien Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Student General Artist
I love Snow Leopards - my favorite part of the BBC's Planet Earth is where they talk about how hard it was to film them in the wild. It was really really cool - and watching the snow leopard with her cub? Precious...

This mask is really beautiful, Meri. You never cease to amaze me.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) Yes, they are the most charming wild animals...it's a shame they are so rare .
Reply
:iconcuriouser-etc:
curiouser-etc Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
It looks fantastic! My favourite big cat has always been the black panther, but all big cats are awesome. I got to see a snow leopard that they have at a big cat rescue not far from where I live. Your mask is spot on!
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) The zoo here in the city I live in has a really extensive breeding program for these cats, so I grew up watching & drawing them. They are quiet cats & sweetly playful.
Reply
:iconrandom-star:
Random-Star Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic as usual! Snow leopards have also been one of my personal favourites. I never knew they were closer related to tigers, though! :D
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) Yes, you learn something new every day!
Reply
:icontreyos:
Treyos Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Looks great and educational, too! Snow leopards are beautiful cats! ... Except that they're not leopards. Snow tigers, then? ;)
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Cute spotted snow tigers, it seems. :-)
Reply
:iconsmokewithoutmirrors:
smokewithoutmirrors Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional General Artist
Snow leopards are indeed beautiful. As is this mask; you really have managed to capture the snow leopard in this.

Shame you can't add the absolutely amazing eyes in there; they're what really make the snow leopard's face so astounding.
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)

True! I love snow leopards' eyes...according to my research they are the only big cats with green eyes. Neat!
Reply
:iconvetriz:
Vetriz Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
Very nice work :)
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-)
Reply
:iconihni:
ihni Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
It is very very pretty and looks almost silvery in colour. I have to ask you though, how do you draw all those hairs? Or cut them? Do you use a knife?
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. Yes, hand-cut into the leather with what is called a "swivel blade". I use a ceramic angled blade, for control.
Reply
:iconmego-sama-lady-sir:
Mego-Sama-Lady-Sir Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
wow that looks great! <3 I love reassuring animals when I work on an art project X3 it's so fun
Reply
:iconmerimask:
merimask Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you. :-) Yes, sometimes I learn interesting stuff when I research.
Reply
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Submitted on
November 20, 2010
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Nov 20, 2010, 2:46:41 PM
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