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Obsidian Snow by balaa Obsidian Snow by balaa
Introducing Zhed, a black snow leopard. His name roughly translates to 'fear' in tibetan and the reason behind the name is simple: 'That which is rare or misunderstood is often feared'. The reason I chose to go with a black snow leopard is because I figured, even in the wild genetic melatonin flaws occur, producing animals with pelt colors uncharacteristic of their species. Well I've read a little about tigers born with reversed stripes, and obviously there are leopards born with 'black' it wouldn't be so far fetched to see a black snow leopard. I will leave the interpretation of the title and his name to each person who chooses to view this picture.

The painting actually took me quite a while to finally call finished and I struggled a bit with the background and the figure himself. All in all I feel proud of this piece and happy with how he turned out and I hope you folks enjoy it as well. I will check 'mature' content only to be safe but I do not at all consider this work mature or adult content. Nudity is beautiful and natural in the human form and if an anthro snowy ever existed, I somehow doubt he would find use for a loin cloth what with all the fur he would have to keep him warm ;).

Now for those that 'hate'/'dislike'/'insert synonym here' anthro work, I believe anthromorphic art can be beautiful. To me an anthromorphized animal represents a closer link of humanity to the natural world, it is our inner wish to be primal and wild and live within the natural world instead of outside of it. With my anthros I strive to make them look natural, a part of and not apart from their world. It is fantasy art just as are dragons and elves and anything else. I have seen a lot of anthro art flamed in various communities so I feel it necessary to stick a disclaimer here. You don't have to like it, I'm not asking anyone too..I am merely sharing my vision with the world.

Now that I have yammered with excessive verbage, time for the technical specs of this piece.

Size: 38 x24 inches at 250 dpi. The psd ended up being well over 500mb in size.
Time taken: ehm I really havent a clue, in excess of 30 the very least.
Prints: yes (pm me if interested in 8x10 at 10$ plus shipping). Larger limited edition prints available at conventions.
Watermark: sorry folks, I really don't want someone making money off my time and effort...though I hate watermarking my work. Prints will come minus the watermark.
Tools: original sketch pencil([link]), final ps

**Please respect the work and time put into the work and full view**

EDIT- taking the mature warning off for now..I am not certain that it really requires the mature content disclaimer..but if it does, I would be happy to return it :).
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-04-16
Obsidian Snow by *balaa What really mesmerizes me most about Balaa's work is the fine attention to detail and the great variation and depth to the texture created. Very nicely done! ( Suggested by Avalik and Featured by Katmomma )
TallGabriel Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Too gorgeous for words. And great background!
NINJAWERETIGER Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is awesome!
ljsraksha Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I think anthro art is beautiful, especially yours! Wonderful work, I love the pose and I also have a black/melanistic snow leopard char named Tandu.
littlewolfyone Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
absolutely amazing ^_^
OniVrask Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Heck of a body this cat's got, very beautiful piece, lovely tints and shades and faint colours all work very well.
Barricade1991 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
wirklich sehr sehr s
WhIppIng-b0y Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
That's so...tangible
ShockWaveX2 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
Very beautiful piece, it looks very awesome!! 8-) :heart:
FoxStar11 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
This is beautiful!
xMJJMoonwalker Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
All I have to say is that both the picture and the description are beautiful. You are a wonderful artist, keep up the good work!
Thinkingninja1 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! This is such a majestic and beautiful picture. The attention to detail is what really caught my eye and I do like the shades and textures you used. Your description is filled with a wonderful insight and congratulations on finishing!!!!
chotabear Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
He's so handsome !!!
GhostInThePines Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
This piece is what inspired me to research melanism in animals and add it to my teaching repetoire when I'm doing environmental ed. I adore this.
elynsynos-haruka Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011
This is truely stunning! He is gorgeous!
wintersmagic Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Incredible work, featured here:[link]
xXwolvendiaXx Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2010
And things (people) often fear, they seek to control or destroy. Sometimes we're a very sad race. Beautifully done-these words aren't even close to the praise you should be receiving for this. The background is breath taking, putting it mildly, the rocks are what captures my attention the most its so detailed its like looking at an actual photograph. You should feel proud of how this came out, It make the viewer (well me at least) feel like I'm standing in that cold snowy place actually looking at this creature. Well, done should be seen as an insult, but its the only words I can think of, at the moment, to say. And thank you for sharing this with the world!
wild-as-the-wolf Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What you said, times 900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

wyldhart1395 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2010
Woow. Beautiful!!! I bet this took awhile to make. Everything's so detailed!!!
*wait, read the bottom-yuup-30+ hours lol.
An amazing piece.
wyldhart1395 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2010
Woow. Beautiful!!! I bet this took awhile to make. Everything's so detailed!!!
wyldhart1395 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2010
Woow. Beautiful!!! I bet this took awhile to make. Everything's so detailed!!!
kiidri Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2010
This is gorgeous. Snow Leopards are my favorite animal. I love it good job ;D!
thetravelingbard Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
gorgeous and so very sexy! raowwrrs!
catfuret Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
He's amazing and very handsome :>. I like this type of drawing anthros, when they are more animal-like than human-like. I know that snow leopards have long tails, but his is a bit too long ;). Though, everything else is just perfect. I love your style.
Cowgirl-Hank Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2009
Wow, this is awesome! All the detail is incredible!
KaosLeishy Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2009
Wow he's gorgeous. So much work put into this piece, the idea of a black snow leopard is nice and different.
Stray-Wolf-2 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009  Professional Photographer
WOW it is amaising realy love every part of it it is like in so wow :)
Askand Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Its an awesome piece of art. I loved the expression since is like a mix of two different types of emotion. Loneliness and Strenght. Still the pose calls for an attitude of strenght I really like this since I love black panthers. Although this is a snow leopard I love the theme. Thank you for sharing.

MBPanther Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful. He looks amazing. People don't realize the beauty of the human body much less anthro.
ltdalius Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009
This work is absolutely amazing! So detailed! So real that i've got shivers when i first looked him, as you've done him so well!

I love your anthro art interpretation - and totally agree with that!
LadyofTheRaven Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2009
Totally badass. I love this pic
Shadowtricker Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2009
The realism of your work is incredible! This is lovely. It reminds me a bit of an old character of mine, although he was an African leopard.
gobiauketchup Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009
realy amazing, i'm realy impressed :clap:
WinkGuy1 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009   Filmographer
Very nicely done. For some reason, the background reminds me of paintings done by Robert Bateman... :)
deprywacja Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
very oldschool feeling, like fantasy paintings from 80'. i like it.
Stigmartyr762 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
Absolutely gorgeous! :wow:
Fearythemas Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
His expression looks lonely, even though it's in the nature of snow leopards to be alone. Maybe he's lonely but resigned to it since people fear him without reason.
He looks so soft too...
This is one of my favorite pictures I've found <3
kitsuneleah Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
I think you pulled this off quite remarkably. I'm finding myself believing that there's really a "Zhed" out there, waiting out a blizzard in some distant mountains. All is fur is so well rendered and follows his body shape beautifully- I suppose the fur is my favorite part. It looks like I can touch it.

Wonderful work!
Draconis-Wyrm Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009   Writer

Panthen Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
Awww, he's so handsome. ^_^
darkKiell Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
good job - cool idea_ _:winner:

pugcandy Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
I love it!
mysticm0nkey Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009   Traditional Artist
Excellent work !
Moongara Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
Gorgeous work. He is quite striking. Congratulations on the Daily Deviation.
awsmdragonqueen Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow... of course the detail. i love how the icicles look.. well real. and how the snow lays lightly on the fur. and the fur! also, i just want to say that i love your disclaimer about anthro art, and i like what it represents to you. i hope you don't have many people flame your work. its so beautiful! :heart:
Montalve Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
is a cat or a man in cat form?

well great picture :D
gokhanproject Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
very nice work good job...
shadowmagi Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
He's stunning!
ShogunD Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009
The abdominal muscles are little over emphasized, however.
cottondragon Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
you are godlike =;___;= love your art so much *feels ashamed for the random-like comment and hides in a milk jar*
Reveta Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
This is stunning. I love the detail work. Great job!
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Submitted on
July 26, 2006
Image Size
521 KB


51,771 (9 today)
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Camera Data

HP ScanJet 4600
Date Taken
Jul 6, 2006, 10:56:22 PM