|A group of cheetahs in Namibia|
The sketch above is too elongated to fit to most canvases so they need to be rearranged to suit a painting. While he was sketching the central cheetah sat up which made for a better arrangement so that was captured in a quick thumbnail sketch.
The shapes and positions of the animals only needed to be roughly indicated. Notice how they are positioned in relation to the lower and left third marker line.
As they all appear on the horizontal line, he decided that when it came to transferring the image to canvas, the one to the right needed to come forward and the leftmost go back and closer to the middle cheetah. Various adjustments were also made during painting - easy enough with acrylics.
Stephen also had a number of photographs of cheetahs which were used as reference sources for colour and detail.