Friday, January 20, 2012

First painting of 2012 finished (An uncertain encounter)

The last few nights have been late ones as I tried to finish this painting.Finally last night I finished it.It is still rough in many areas but I have decided to leave it that way.I would rather it look like a painting, than look like a photo.I only came up with a title today,and have been battling to find one suitable,although I did get a few suggestions from you readers,which did get my mind thinking.My brother had plenty of suggestions ,but they were not suitable ,and I will not mention them here,since some of them are quite funny, that's not to say that some of mine weren't either.It was actually my boss who after seeing the painting gave me some suggestions and which I liked (An Uncertain encounter).I almost went with an (Unusual encounter) since such a alteration between these animals is quite rare,and a unique privileged to witness.However the painting has an electric atmosphere between the subjects, and felt that (An Uncertain encounter) did more justice to it as a title.

The chances of seeing such an interaction between elephants and rhinos is becoming increasingly rare as both elephants and especially rhino are hunted down and killed for their horns and tusks.Since 2009 there has been a huge increase in the killing of rhinos for their horns which to some is worth more than the price of gold.

It is estimated,that there are about 15,000 rhinos left in Africa and 3,000 in Asia .About 80 to 90 percent of the Africa's rhino population is concentrated in South Africa. During 2011 ,448 rhinos were killed just in South Africa alone .During the first 16 days of this year 2012 , 25 rhinos have already been kill .If the Poaching continues at this rate the rhino may be extinct in the not so distant future.

In some areas Game rangers have resorted to tranquilizing some rhinos and then cutting off the horns so as to deter poachers from killing the rhinos.However this has not always worked.Since the horn is valued so highly, poachers are willing to kill the animal just for that small piece of horn that may be left.So if you see a rhino in the wild consider yourself extremely fortunate and enjoy the privileged experience .

Here are a few links that I found informative that deal with the plight of the Rhino .

There are 15,000 Rhinos in Africa, and 3,000 Rhinos in Asia.
There are 15,000 Rhinos in Africa, and 3,000 Rhinos in Asia.
Elephant paintings

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First painting of 2012 in progress

Here is my studio as of January 2012, ha ha if you can call it that, it consists of a plastic chair,wooden easel,lamp,and my wooden box containing my paints and brushes.Since this area is next to my bed ,I think a better name would be my art space.One day when I start selling more art ,I  hope to have a studio,a room just dedicated to the process of creating art.I would no longer have to worry about cleaning up smears of oil paint off my bed or bedroom floor.And a place where I can store my large number of painted and unpainted canvases which at the moment are bunged up behind my easel and overflowing to the other corners of my bedroom.
This is what I am working on at the moment,a oil painting of a rhino charging two elephants.Although I am using a couple of photos for reference,there was a lot of changes I made to the composition .In the photos the rhino was actually overlapping the middle elephant,making it feel a bit cluttered ,so I positioned him more to the right so that he was running into the painting.The background in the photos contained trees and shrubs,and some of the trees ,were casting dark shadows over the elephants.This created a bit of a challenge,since I did not want any trees or shadows on the elephants  ,so I had to use a bit of guess work of what the skin tones on an elephant would look like when not in shadow. As the animals are in the late afternoon sun, I wanted to highlight this light so I decided to have storm clouds in the background to create some contrast .The clouds also worked well as an element of composition ,in that it draws the viewer into the picture. 

                                                A close up pictures of the center elephant.
                                  Here are some progress pictures of the rhino,which I did last night.

 My brother and I have been useless at thinking of  titles, we cant agree on any of them so,although it is not yet finished,any suggestions for a title are welcome.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Okavango Watercolors

Here is a some watercolor studies, that I did while I was on holiday for a few days with my family on a house boat in Shakawe.My Dad had some maintenance work to do on the house boat,so he thought that if he invites the family along he will get some free labor and we could enjoy a bit of a holiday in the afternoons.I am glad I managed to go even if it was just a few days.The food was great,and so was the fishing,we caught a number of Tiger fish and some bream, which we enjoyed cooking and eating.

Most of my holidays I will bring my pencil,paper and watercolors along.I find that painting and drawing on holiday is so much more relaxing and enjoyable than when I am just at home.I seem to loose the desire for perfection in my art and end up painting just for the sheer enjoyment of painting.

View from the top deck of the house boat. 
                                            Reflections of summer clouds in the Okavango