Barbary lions were said to be the largest of the lions. They lived in Northern Africa and are extinct in the wild there. They were used in the Colosseum, kept in the Tower of London, and sent as gifts to various royalty. The last was shot in 1942. These are not really an extinct species because back in 2017 it was determined that they were actually a distinct sub-species, rather than a separate species. Since this is my project, I'm allowed to bend my own rules and I am including them. I am going to tag this as extinct, extinct in the wild, and critically endangered.
I tried to make him look like he was laughing, smiling, or even sneering. I did many sketches but I kept erasing them because they all just felt wrong. I finally decided to give up and try a serious looking one, and that worked. I try to let the animal dictate the painting...if that makes sense without making me seem totally insane. Typically I know exactly what I want to convey with the animal, but some of them it just doesn't work.