First I drew the lion, from a photo reference on pixabay (free image site), with a 6B pencil, trying to be as loosey-goosey as possible. I do try to keep the structure of the subject while making big confident lines.Next, I start with the eyes. I like to paint them together, not one at a time because eyes work as a pair. It's easy to get off balance if you focus on only one eye, then the other. Work the eyes together. I don't finish the eyes though... just get some darks and lights in them.
Working down the page, darks and lights, transparent and opaques. I never liked painting washes in watercolour. I can never get the washes dark enough and contrasty enough. I end up having to do many washes... I prefer this more direct approach.
The whiskers wrap around the muzzle, helping bring the mouth forward. Saving the highlights in the eyes as I finish them up. Then, a few calligraphy marks and... my friend is finished!