From behind, an elephant can appear to be just a very large, fairly indistinct, object because most of the details – trunk, ears, tusks etc – are at the front end of the elephant. To indicate that this is a sketch of a bull elephant, I needed to include just a glimpse of the trunk, tusk and ears, but this was a difficult angle to sketch, because the elephant constantly lowered and raised his trunk to drink. As I began the sketch I was hoping he was planning to drink for at least a couple of minutes, so I could finish the sketch. Luckily for me, he obliged. I used the bold color scheme to emphasize the bulk of the bull elephant by first painting around him, then adding touches of color on the elephant to highlight the important details of his tail, spine, trunk and tusk. I think the combination was very successful!
All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches.
This Original Field Sketch is Sold, but Limited Edition Giclées are also available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 14×11″, all signed and numbered by me.
A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.
Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.
Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of a 2 cheetahs preparing for a hunt..