Monday, July 13, 2009

Mommy Elephant

I did this for practice. I found the picture out of a book called Wild Animals by David Alderton. I don't know who took the photo. I just wanted to see if I could paint it and make it a little unique, but not go over board.

Created in Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro


pete said...

Nice rendering, Steve!

I'm using an elephant in my next piece, so I'm particularly interested in studying this animal's anatomy. Do the legs come across as weird to you? They sure do to me - so much weight is in the upper portion of each leg, and it's surprising how much mass is supported on such long appendages...and those shoulder blades go way up there! I'm fascinated by anatomy, so sorry for that've captured all that very well!

The shadows also bring out lots of dimension! Nice work - no crits from me!

pete said...

Just re-read my message. I wasn't implying that the legs your drew were weird - just that elephant legs are weird in general! Hope that clarifies...

Pixiewinkle said...

Steve- These elephants look really nice. I think that you achieved what you were aiming for. The only thing that I would critique is that the back legs on the baby seem to be missing. It is slight, but it caught my eye. It should be pretty easy for you to remedy. Good work as usual!

Pete- I totally agree with what you are saying about the legs. When I used to have more time (pre-two kids) I used to sketch at the Museum of Natural history and I loved drawing the dinosaur skeletons. After drawing those (as well as woolly mammoth skeletons) it made the elephant/animal leg anatomy much more understandable. Try drawing some skeletons and it makes more sense when you draw the bodies.

Steve Harpster said...

Thanks guys for the words.
Elephant legs are really weird, but when you see them move it makes sense. They can move really fast, I mean really fast. They are not as fat as what we think they are. The shape of elephant heads are the oddest thing too. Lot's of varying shapes.

As for the babies legs, It was taken from a photo but you might be right. I will try adding some back legs and see if it adds to it. That's the joy of artistic license, right.

Thanks again.

Carmen Keys said...

Just for practice, eh? This is fantastic! I like the relationship between mother & baby elephant, and they even seem to have personalities (hint of smile?). I think you did well, as always, with highlight and shadow -- it is nice to see you've made yellowish and orange highlights on the elephants' skin, where most people would have gone for lighter gray. Your way gives it more dimension!
It is hard to find a crit, but maybe a slight nitpick is the grass under mom elephant's front leg that touches the baby -- for some reason the grass flattens out there, not as much fluff on top like around her other legs. A VERY small nitpick indeed.
Great work Steve! A good one for the portfolio I think.

Lara Lakshmi said...

This is one good looking family! I love the story told by the composition - the elephants facing opposite ways, and by their expressions. Only critique is that the baby's ears seem more angular and "plastic" than the mom's, or the rest of its own body. Maybe that's how baby elephant ears look, though? Also, a flash of the baby's tail between the mom's front legs would be cute, I think. And maybe add a craggy tree or two in the far background to place it firmly in Africa? I agree you definitely have a portfolio piece.

Christy said...

Nice suggestions at all. That is some lovely realistic rendering for computer work. :) Very nice indeed.