Watercolour Elephant

Today was a good day.

  • Firstly my wonderful son is feeling better and will probably go back to school tomorrow or the next day!  🙂
  • Secondly, for the first time I’ve painted a watercolour which looks something llike the image I had in my mind.  I feel happy!

It began when I decided to paint an animal using a pure watercolour technique.  Last night I watched this brilliant, brilliant video of a real watercolour artist doing a painting of an elephant.  The video I watched was this one:

I thought it was absolutely fabulous!

Elephants are such graceful, sensitive animals  I couldn’t resist having a try at painting one, especially having watched Fiona Clarke make such a fantastic job of a similar picture.  I have loads of animal books at home (typical biology teacher!), everything from a collection of ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ books to invertibrate textbooks so I found a photo that I was happy to use as a basic reference.

ele_referencephotoSome of the trunk of the  elephant I wanted ot paint is covered by her calf but, with other reference photos to look at too, I thought I could fill in the missing part.  I made a quick sketch while I got dinner cooked (spicy chicken wings, boiled potatoes in a herb sauce and corn, carotts and brocolli).

ele_sketchThen after dinner (and the ironing – groan) I was able to paint it.  I worked from light to dark and from big to small as lots of people seem to recommend on the internet and it turned out well.  Two things really helped – (1) I worked on one a small area at a time so I could play with the paint a little and use the water to make it go where I want without it drying out too quickly and (2) I took it slowly letting the paint dry out between layers.

So this is how it turned out:

elephant_FIN_WEBIt’s not as exciting as some of the wonderful work I looked at last week but I am happy with it.   😀

(All Images unless otherwise explicitly stated are © Jo Fox, 2015)