Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Study of an African Bush Elephant

Stepping Away from the Pack

The drawings that I've posted lately are studies based on my own photos. My aim of these straight-forward renderings is to hone both my drawing and my observation skills.  

Last August, I had the gift of watching a herd of elephants at their watering hole in Kruger National Park. In  that hour or so, I took many photos and I learned a lot about their behaviour. But only when I started drawing one - that is slowly, carefully observing and recording the details - did I notice wonderful bits that I had missed before: the wrinkly skin and the way it pulls taut over the hip bone, the prominent ridges on the edge of each large flapping ear, and how the brow bone protrudes above the beady little eye. 

Next time I see an elephant in person, so to speak, I won't miss those wonderful details because I've come to know them through drawing. And that delights me.

One last thing... the photo below shows the herd as they drank together. The lone elephant (above) had just stepped away from this thirsty bunch (below). Maybe she had enough water or maybe she just needed some alone time.


  1. Your drawing of the elephant is exquisite. You have so many talents! I see how the skin is stretched over the hip bone. You photo is great, too!

  2. Hi Pat... thanks for visiting and for you comment! I'm all flattered :-)

  3. Ah Shelley, my side of the world! The KNP is the most wonderful relaxing absorbing place isn't it? And those beautiful gentle giants of the African bush - wonderful sketch!

  4. Hi Liz... yes, so much to see all over your country. Thanks for stopping by. Shelley

  5. Shelley, your drawing is superb, but the best thing about this post is that you're delighted by what you're accomplishing. _That's_ cool! :)

  6. Hi Kirk - Nice to see that you stopped by to read and view. It gets me so excited when that happens, a drawing discovery that I hadn't noticed before. Love it! Truly is learning to see.