Saturday, 27 June 2009

Zebra painting

I was dog sitting for one of my friends at the beginning of May and decided to paint this Zebra while I was away from my studio. This painting is a bit different to most of my other work because of the colour choice. I wanted to create a very moody, dark background to this Zebra which has so much purple and blue in the shadows on its body. I loved the juxtaposition of the rich reds and purple and this absorbed my attention as much as the position of the Zebra.
Zebras are the most fantastic animals to observe in the wild. They are so alert to danger but bicker and nip and kick eachother all the time. It is fascinating to watch the same equine behaviour that you notice in fields of horses. The position of the Zebra in my painting is so typical for all equines when they are nervous; head up, ears pricked, eyes focused on whatever is the cause for concern and body tensed and ready to flee from danger. I have often been sat on top of a horse when it adopts this attitude and you know that at any minute you could be spinning round and galloping off in the opposite direction!
The dogs all loved sitting with me while I painted this picture. I had four laying on my feet or my lap as I worked!

Sumatran Tiger

I have finally finished the Sumatran Tiger, which has been on and off the easel for about six weeks. I will probably still fiddle with the fur detail for a bit longer before I am satisfied (if you ever are satisfied!) I had been thinking about painting this picture for a couple of years. There is something very intense in the gaze of a Tiger and the strong, black markings around the face really help to accentuate that stare. Such beautiful cats and the Sumatran is probably one of the most handsome of all the Tigers. I have called this painting 'Sumatran Beauty' and it will be exhibited at the Marwell Wildlife Art Show at Marwell Wildlife Park , Hampshire in August.