While you may rarely come across a big cat in real life, lions, tigers, and leopards appear to emerge from the canvases of Nick Sider. The New York City-based artist creates large-scale depictions of big felines that resemble close-up photographs. Through many hours of work, he renders all of his subjects with hyperrealistic detail.
Originally from Canada, Sider did not pursue painting until he was 25 years old. After he relocated to NYC, he started gaining recognition for his spectacular acrylic pieces celebrating wildlife. Although he paints a variety of different animals, big cats have been his muse since childhood, which he returns to time and time again.
Sider wants his paintings to “extend beyond what a photograph could ever capture.” So, in addition to utilizing realism, he enhances each portrait with an intimate view of the animal. These cat paintings are treated like portraits of human beings with an emphasis on their eyes and expression. “My favorite moment while painting is when a subject on my canvas begins to come alive,” Sider says.
Scroll down to see more big cat paintings by Sider and keep up to date with his latest work by following the artist on Instagram.