They say we must look both ways before crossing, at the zebra crossing, in town and cities! But here in the Kruger National Park…
The zebras were looking at us…
As we humans, in our cars, we zoom down their dirt roads. They, the animals --have to watch out for us!!
In the Zoo, in town…
The animals are in cages. We look over barred fences to see the zebra in their spacious pens.
It’s different when the animal, birds and zebra are out in the wide open wilds of the Kruger Park. There we are all cooped up in our cars… and… the animals run free.
I’m sure they think we are the strange creatures, come just to entertain them!!
Like a TV show:
I often tease children at the zoo, as they look through thick glass at monkeys in their enclosure.
- I say to the children, “See they are looking back at us, like we are on their TV screen.
- I tell the children what the monkeys are thinking, “What a silly hat! That human has no idea of fashion! And look at those shoes… they don’t even match the hat or dress!”
Ha-ha. Anyway let’s get back to our Kruger park trip:
We stopped our car & saw some Zebra grazing:
They were set well back from the road. The scene looked so beautiful, that I just had to take a photo of it. And this I what I painted from that photo:
How I painted the zebra scene:
- First, the usual wash of raw sienna for the overall undercoat (done previously) and then blocking-in of the basic shapes of the landscape.
- Now getting down to the actual painting: it wasn’t so easy to fill-in the tree’s fine lacy foliage. Why? Well, I wanted the trees to look really leafy and delicate. So I teased-in the colours of pinholes of the sky in the foliage areas. Working from a darker blue to lighter blue, until I got what I wanted.
- As to the grass areas, I fiddled around with dark and light colours, with different brushes, until I thought it looked somewhat like wild dry grass.
- Then I filled-in the zebra. Here I started painting them in with black paint. And left that to dry for a few days. I then filled in the Zebra’s white strips and waited for that to dry.
- And another day, I checked if they blended into their background. Looking at the original from a distance the zebra blending in too much. You couldn’t actually see the painting was all about the zebra.
- So I softened the background and foreground somewhat. And because the tree’s shadow over the zebra (on the left) looked too black, I went back and strengthened the white of its stripes.
The blog impression:
But sadly when looking at the photograph (here on this blog) the zebra standout too much, making everything look overdone, heavy-handed and stiff.
Conclusion: This shows that original paintings look better when seen from a distance. And photo close-ups are scary looking!