The Art of Lawrence Supino


realistic painting of a bengal tiger's head

My Wild Cat paintings are inspired by my love for these magnificent animals. "Ozzi" is my painting of a Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris). I enjoyed rendering Ozzi's hair, which provides camouflage, warmth and protection for the tiger.

Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength. The Bengal Tiger is one of the largest cats in the world, second only to the Siberian tiger. They are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers.

The Bengal tiger lives in the Sundarban regions of India, Bangladesh, China, Siberia, and Indonesia. They are powerful nocturnal hunters that travel many miles to find their prey. Since tigers hunt mostly at dusk and dawn their stripes help them to hide in the shadows of tall grasses. They're not able to chase prey long distances but are able to leap forward distances up to 10 meters (32.5 ft). They stalk then pounce on their prey. A tiger can consume as much as 40 kg (88 lb.) of meat in one feeding.

Tigers have forward facing eyes, rather than one on each side of their head, providing them with binocular vision because each eye's field of vision overlaps creating a three dimensional image. Binocular vision enables them to accurately assess distances and depth. But the tiger's sense of hearing is the most acute of all its senses. Their ears are capable of rotating, similar to a radar dish, to detect various sounds such as the high-frequency sounds produced by prey in the dense forest. They are very powerful swimmers and readily enter the water to cool themselves off or in the pursuit of prey.

Adult male Bengal tigers weigh about 220 kg (480 lb) and measure about 2.9 m (9.5 ft) in length. Females are slightly smaller with an average weight of 140 kg (300 lb) and 2.5 m (8 ft) in length. Tigers usually live around 23 years in captivity and around 18 years in the wild. Bengal tigers are endangered!