Friday, June 17, 2011

Battle of the stallions

This was a painting that I did from a old black and white photo of two zebras fighting .The baobab tree and the cloudy sky I added as I went along,color was based on other photos of zebras.

I was wondering why do Zebra stallions fight? And found out that they do this mainly to have control of the  mares .As soon as male zebra is big enough it is chased out of the herd by the predominant stallion.Young stallions will then join up with a bachelor group of zebras .A lone Stallion will sometimes challenge the predominant stallion in order to gain control of  the mares ,he will do this only if he things he is stronger.These fights can sometimes lead to serious injury that can later lead to a early death.Some zebra stallions will even go as far as killing young male foals,by kicking and biting them to death.Yeah life in the wild can be tough!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Waiting for Kalahari rain

Two Gemsbok antelope stand among the dry grasses of the Kalahari plains while in the distance a sudden down pour takes place.
Rain here in Botswana is special,  even our currency here is called Pula ,which is the Tswana word for rain.Our rainy season starts in November and ends around April .The rain normally comes at the end of a hot day released  during a heavy downpour.Within minutes the storm is over leaving everything dripping with water and breathing new life into all that is living.

This oil painting was inspired by a trip that I took with a friend into the Kalahari.The trip coincided with the start of the rainy season .So during the end of some days, we experienced a couple of sudden down pours.We then had the privileged to see tortoises, bat-eared foxes, jackals, and birds drinking the precious water that had gathered in the few dirt tracks that meandered through the Kalahari.It was probably the first water they had drank since the last rains many months before.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Tiny Jewl

Normally seen flying low and fast over the water,in a blur of bright colors the Malachite Kingfisher is another one of my favorite birds.It is not often you can find it posing for you since it is also quite secretive and shy and tends to inhabit the fringes of the papyrus and reed beds of the river.But when you do capture a glance of this bird you will  without doubt agree that it is a beautiful jewl.
The painting above is done in oils and it is the 3rd time I have painted the same bird .Sometimes you produce a painting that after selling it, is then requested by someone else ,and you end up painting it again.However far from being boring painting it for the 3rd time ,I found it rather enjoyable .I also found that I had actually improved my skill to the point that this painting was much better than my previous two  .