Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi)

I had a bit of fun doing this lovely Zebra. There are Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) at Auckland Zoo that are part of an ongoing SSP programme. I'd love to help preserve them as well. But here in New Zealand the regulations on the keeping of any wildlife are very strict and so it should be. I'm just happy to look at them. You can tell they're one of my favourite animals and they always look good in black and white ink drawings. If you're drawing wildlife always take time out to learn something about your chosen subject.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bantam Hen

I met this little bantam hen at a friend's farm. She was nesting in their hay shed on top of a pile of old bricks. She decided to go out for a while off her eggs and find some insects to eat.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ready for work

I met this lovely Clydesdale gelding at Paparoa Show earlier this year. He was waiting to rides to children in a beautifully restored wagon. I really enjoy the summer time there's always something happening around the area where I live at that time of year. I hope you like him.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kenya - Head in black and white

I took this off a beautiful photo done by New Zealand Photographer Helen Robertson of my favourite cheetah Kenya. I started this some weeks ago, but with things in my life getting in the way I wasn't able to spend the time I wanted to finish it. Kenya resides at Zion Wildlife Gardens in Kamo Whangarei. There's a sadder side now to all of this. Several weeks ago the park was placed into receivership and one part of the park now placed into liquidation. Some who read this may be aware of the TV series the Lion Man. It showed a man playing with big cats and seemingly all was well and happy. Sadly it is not all well and and happy. Some years back the park was in financial trouble. Around 2006 the Lion Man's Mum bailed him out and it was hoped they could work together. Sadly it didn't work out. They parted ways and things have the been the subject of court battles and controversy ever since. The Lion Man's Mum was left with the debts to pay and now she faces, just like the beautiful big cats in her and her team's care a very uncertain future. It's heartbreaking to see. It's too long a story to write about on this blog post. It's a sad legacy of which I've witnessed first hand. I've had the privilege of having 36 big cats as part of my life and that of my families'. Now that could all end forever. In my mind the legacy I don't want to see are a few digital images and old videos of what once was.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eye of Jahdu - The Completed Work

At last it's all done. The paper wouldn't take any further layers but I'm pleased with the result

Friday, June 17, 2011

Eye of Jahdu - Work in Progress 2

It's never easy on black paper but I really like using it. The details are slowly but surely coming to life in this work.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eye of Jahdu - Work in Progress 1

At the moment this is a seemingly mishmash of colours and shapes. I've taken this from a closeup image I took of Jahdu one of the white male tigers at Zion Wildlife Gardens. He's a stunning tiger but I wouldn't want to be in the same enclosure with him!

Friday, May 27, 2011

African Elephant Head Study - Progressions 2

I haven't had a chance to post any more of this drawing which is still work in progress this is the latest so far. Hopefully I've learned something...a lot of patience. It's quite large being on A3 size. The camera setting was wrong so I've ended up with a bluish tinge to it. I've stuck to the harder grades and introduced the softer grades where needed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jamuna in pen and ink

This is drawn using a historic photograph of Jamuna Auckland Zoo's first Asian elephant. I love elephants they're so amazing. Jamuna spent her life giving rides to visitors at the zoo from 1923 up until around 1954 - when unfortunately she accidently killed her keeper. She died in 1965 after over forty years at the zoo.

I did the intial sketch then a .01 graphics pen to put in the details using a variety of different techniques to build up the textures - I really enjoyed this one. This is the very first time I've ever drawn an elephant using this medium. She turned out really well.

Meantime I'm working on the other two drawings and will post up their progressions soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

African Bush Elephant Head Study - Progressions 1

I tend to get bored easily with just one drawing (typical me!) so yesterday I started this elephant. He's more of a study drawing. I'm concentrating only on the head features to learn more about the textures of his skin and his anatomy. Elephants are amazing intelligent and highly sociable animals. Sadly we're seeing more and more news of poaching going on for their ivory. The iconic Musango Bull was killed last year by a trophy hunter. A sad ending to a magnificent tusker such as he was. I've used 4H, 2H, H and HB so far on this drawing.

A Lady in Waiting - Progressions 3

I've been taking my time with this drawing. Horses are complicated with many muscles in their heads. It's far from perfect. The rosette isn't perfectly rounded as it should be but I'm not going to change it so far into the drawing. I'm still using many layers of 2H,4H,H,HB and in some parts B pencil. Her eye is a challenge with the many folds and shadings within it. But so far I'm quite happy with her progress. I have two drawings on the go at the moment and enjoying doing both of them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Lady in Waiting - Progressions 2

I'm slowly graduating the grades of pencil and adding in the finer detail as I go. There's no hurry to do this. Hopefully she will turn out okay. It's been a while since I've done something as large as this drawing is. I've really enjoyed doing this one!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Lady in Waiting - Progressions 1

I love horses. I have a 30 year old 1st cross quarter horse here with me on the farm. This beautiful mare was half sleeping in the sunshine at a local show while she was waiting for her class to start. I could resist grabbing a photo of her. She sure was indeed an elegant lady.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tygo with his ball - The completed piece

This is only the third tiger I have ever done and he was a challenge! Tygo is at last finished. I still have concerns about the foreshortening but this is for a logo. I like to be as accurate as possible with anything I do - but no-one is ever perfect if we were we would never learn. Thanks goes to Karen who supplied the reference image and also to Zion Wildlife Gardens for their kindness and generosity in allowing me to have access to photograph their beautiful big cats at the park.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tygo with his ball - progressions part 2

I've progressed further now with Tygo. I'm having to be very very careful around his whiskers and muzzle area. One slip of the fine pen and it will be ruined if I rush any of it. I've been thoroughly enjoying doing this piece for the Toyz for Zion Cats group. It's a great cause and I can't wait to see the big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens enjoy their new toys they will be given by such caring and wonderful people as this group are.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tygo with his ball - progressions

Tygo is one of my favourite tigers. He's a white tiger at Zion Wildlife Gardens near where I live. Tygo has a favourite ball and loves to play with it whenever he can. I've done this drawing for a logo to be used for a UK Charity named Toyz 4 Zion Cats. This group are a wonderful gathering of caring people who are working on enrichment solutions and ideas for the big cats that live at the park. They're only in their infancy at this stage but already they're purchased a ball which will soon arrive here in New Zealand as a gift for the big cats. Can't wait to see the fun begin. These are the stages so far for Tygo - sorry about the image quality it's far too big to scan so I've had to make do with my not so good camera!