Tag Archives: zebra

Zebra-Painting-Demo by Alison Nicholls

Zebra Painting Demo!

Zebra Painting Demo is my latest video. I started a larger zebra painting which didn’t quite go to plan (it happens to us all), so I started again. But this time I painted on a smaller, pre-stretched watercolor canvas. Although the painting looks quite complex, when you watch the video you’ll see that it was painted in just 2 stages. 1st came the wash and once that was dry, the stripes, all in the same color palette. Enjoy the video but don’t miss the quiz question below!

Do you know what the longest land mammal migration is?

You might be thinking it’s the wildebeest migration in Tanzania and Kenya, but it’s actually the zebra migration in northern Botswana. Between 1968 and 2004 this migration was halted by the existence of miles of fences separating Botswana’s beef cattle from wild African buffalo (an attempt to prevent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease). Once the fences were removed in 2004, the migration started all over again. The average lifespan of a wild zebra is usually between 15-25 years, so none of the zebras alive in 2004 were alive in 1967, before the fences went up. That means none of them had ever been on this migration route. Nevertheless, when the annual rains began, zebra started trekking from the Chobe River down to Nxai Pan and others moved from the Okavango down into the vast expanses of the Makgadikgadi salt pans. It just proves that if we let them, animals will find their own way!

Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Zebra Crossing

I know its a cliche, but Zebra Crossing was really the only name I could give this video. This small herd crossed the road in front of us as we returned to camp one morning. Its unusual to be on a real road like this during an Art Safari, but the light made this a special encounter, as the zebras crossed one by one. You can see why the group name for a herd of zebra is a dazzle!

Happy July 4th if you are an American!
if you are not American, have a dazzling Wednesday!
Until next time…
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Zebra by Alison Nicholls

Looking Back…to move Forward

Looking back can show you how much has changed. So here are a few things that have changed about my art over the years. And a few really old paintings too!

I used to paint or draw animals from photos, in a far more realistic style.

Zebra by Alison Nicholls

Zebra pastel from mid 90’s, by Alison Nicholls.

When I painted from life (en plein air), I painted landscapes with an occasional animal but now I paint animals with an occasional landscape feature.

Okavango Delta by Alison Nicholls

Okavango Delta by Alison Nicholls

Mabuasehube by Alison Nicholls

Mabuasehube by Alison Nicholls

For a long time I used to draw only in pencil, now I can’t imagine my art without color.

Gecko by Alison Nicholls

Gecko by Alison Nicholls

Yes, my art has certainly changed.
But if your art is not changing then you’re probably not improving.
(And if you prefer these older artworks, please don’t tell me!)

Keep on changing..
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Pitse ya Naga Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

African Wildlife Sketch 6 – Zebra in Mopane

I often visit southern Africa in the dry season and over the last few years I have seen zebra herds in mopane scrub, but never managed to sketch them. Mopane can be beautiful trees, but in many areas, due to the large numbers of elephants, they are stunted and twisted, pruned to a convenient 6 or 7 foot height by the pachyderms! In the dry season, a few vibrant green leaves appear but they sit amidst the browns, oranges and reds of the old leaves. It is a beautiful combination, especially when a herd of boldly striped zebra wander through. Finally, this year, I managed to get the sketch down on paper and it may very well become a studio painting too!  

Pitse ya Naga Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Zebra in Mopane by Alison Nicholls

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 watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″, and priced at US$300. Limited Edition Giclées are also available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 11×14″, 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 sleeping painted dogs!
Until then…
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Art Inspired by Africa

Happy New Year from Alison Nicholls!

Art Inspired by Africa

I hope 2015 is happy and healthy for you and all your loved ones.
I hope 2015 is peaceful, with opportunity and education for all.
I hope that 2015 will be a great year for conservation around the globe,
including an end to rhino and elephant poaching.

I think that’s probably enough to start with!

Happy New Year!!

Alison

Don’t forget today is the last day to take advantage of my 2014 Seasonal Offers!

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zebras in the snow

A Holiday Miracle!! by Alison Nicholls

zebras in the snow

A Holiday Miracle!

It turns out that I don’t have too many paintings that are appropriate for a Happy Holidays email, but I found this one and it seemed perfect!

There was snow in the Kalahari once, so you never know…

At this time of year I would like to say Thank You for your support during the year. It is wonderful to know that my paintings and sketches hang on walls around the world and I hope they help to make your homes a little warmer! I am also grateful that my art helps support conservation organizations who are working hard to make a positive difference in the lives of people and animals in Africa.

Thank you again, I appreciate all your emails, calls, tweets & posts!

Happy Happy Holidays!

Art inspired by Africa will be closing on December 17 for the holidays. You can still take advantage of my Seasonal Offers until December 31, but the last date for placing orders to arrive in the US before Christmas, will be December 17. Thank You
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Sleeping Elephant by Cross Culture Images © 2014

Sleeping Elephant by Cross Culture Images © 2014

I grew up in a military family so I’m used to change and regular moves between countries and continents. Some people hate the idea of this, but it’s perfectly normal if that is the way you grew up, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. So I guess it wasn’t a big surprise to my family when I announced that my husband Nigel and I were leaving the UK to move to Africa. It also wasn’t a surprise to us when my parents planned to visit us there. Several times in fact! So far we have traveled together in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia, creating some more interesting and often amusing travel memories to add to the family album.

Are you wondering why there is a photo of a sleeping elephant above and an injured zebra below? Read on…

Injured Zebra by Cross Culture Images © 2014

Injured Zebra by Cross Culture Images © 2014

When, after about 9 years, Nigel and I decided to leave Africa, I remember someone in the UK commenting that my parents must be happy we were heading back to the ‘developed’ world. I remember saying ‘ no, they actually wish we were staying longer, because there are so many places they still want to see in Africa!’. But not to fear. Our departure from the African continent hasn’t hindered their travels there too much! Since we left they’ve visited 4 times on their own, most recently returning from Zambia (somewhere I’m ashamed to admit I have not yet visited). These are a few photographs from their recent visit. Their photograph titles are shown below the images but I think these images could be called Glad to Rest (snoozing bull elephant), Glad to be Alive (injured zebra) and Glad to be a Giraffe!

Giraffe Dance by Cross Culture Images © 2014

Giraffe Dance by Cross Culture Images © 2014

My parents are Margaret & Rob Cross, who live in the UK.
You can see more of their photographs from around the world (including various African countries, Nepal, France, and the UK) on their website: CrossCulture Images.

Until next time…
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Zebra Foal by Nigel Nicholls

Zebra Foal by Nigel Nicholls

Having spent many hours sketching Burchell’s Zebra (as they are generally known in southern Africa) or Plains Zebra (as they are known in East Africa), I am familiar with the complicated pattern of their stripes. They fall straight down the neck and shoulder, dividing around the front legs and becoming horizontal on both front and back legs. The face is even more complicated, as stripes divide around the eyes and form a diamond shape on the front of the face. And, as you can see, stripes can be brown rather than black, particularly as this young age. Of course when I paint zebra their stripes are more likely to be red or purple!

Zebra by Alison Nicholls

Zebra by Alison Nicholls

Until next time…
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Nicholls Wildlife Art