A mother will sometimes raise up to six cubs at once, here she is standing with her three. She is in the middle, looking towards the setting sun, knowing that she must leave her children and never see them again, as unless she does so, they will never hone the skills she has given them and hunt for themselves. It's cheetah "tough love" and has been their successful way for thousands of years. Still, hearing their plaintive cries the next morning is heart rending.
For now, the family is joined in a quiet moment, an edge of golden light holding them together.
This piece employed some new materials, notably, cold wax medium. Mixed with oil and painted over a sketch, this allows me another, atmospheric layer, which I can score if desired, showing underneath layers and drawing.