I came across this Elephant in Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Always great subject to paint I really haven’t painted as many elephants as I would like.
To see the large image of the painting, just scroll down this page to the portfolio of the wildlife gallery images and click on Bull Elephant.
There is also a Youtube video of the painting from start to finish. Just go to Youtube and click on David Crane artist
Nature paintings & wildlife
My early years were spent in the wide open spaces of Kenya, where rhino, giraffe and lion were frequently observed. I am convinced this prompted in me a love of wildlife and nature that flourished and developed in later years with passion dedicated to nature paintings.
Becoming an artist allowed me to expand this fascination into my paintings and I believe this passion I feel around nature and the natural world extends into my work.
The majority of my wildlife work will show an animal or bird in its natural habitat – it’s position within nature.
Draftsmanship is obviously very important. But so too is putting the particular wild animal in its environment and making that environment sympathetic to that species.
To this end I take numerous photographs of animals, birds and, just as importantly, the setting and scenery in which they live.
Rocks, flowers, grass, trees, rivers – everything that is or could be found around the focus of the planned painting is recorded.
These support the many life drawings I do of nature and capture the light that my sketches aren’t able to do.
I love being able to try to record the aura and drama of animals and nature.
Nature Paintings Gallery
As the most successfully evolved creature we are in the fortunate position of being able to help other species.
One of the challenges of painting wildlife is capturing the mood, or character, of the animal.
A ‘startled’ deer, a ‘surprised’ otter listening and alert to possible danger, a bird in flight, the ‘majesty’ of a lion. It is vitally important that I know the anatomy of the wildlife I am painting.
My viewers may not know much about anatomy but they will intuitively know when an animal looks ‘wrong’. An elephant or otter is not just grey. I use many other colours and combinations of colours, adding and layering to achieve the desired effect and drama.
Painting nature is always going to be a challenge, but one that I constantly relish.