Pastel vs. Watercolor

We were fortunate enough on our trip to India to see a tigress hunting in Bandhavgarh. To actually see a tiger running and stretching was awesome. We had video and many photos from this hunt and I chose to work from a photo that showed the tiger leaping to pounce on a spotted deer. Starting with one of our photos for reference, I penciled in my preliminary drawing.
I decided to first work with pastels on Art Spectrums Colourfix Paper. The paper's sand color gave me a background in the color value I wanted. After drawing my tigress, I laid in the background grasses and used water to blend the pastel and give a more indistinct pattern. I then moved to the tigress, starting with the black stripes. I did use pastel pencils to do the small stripes. The grasses in front were added after the tigress was complete.
After completing the pastel, I decided to try this same composition in watercolor on Canson Aquarelle 140 lb paper. I painted it this time without having a full background of grasses, just letting the white of the paper show. This allowed the image of the tigress to be more prominent.