Pygmy Elephant – Pencil to Paint


Be sure to visit in the morning for the Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday giveaway. A tin of Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcards and a 6-pack of Zebra Zensations Technical pens are only two of the items in the prize package.

Doodlewash/WorldWatercolorGroup Prompt #Elephant

The Pgymy Elephant of Borneo is about 30% smaller than other Asian Elephants. At 6,000 – 11,000 lbs he still isn’t very cuddly! Other differences include larger ears, straighter tusks and a tail so long it often touches the ground!

Artwork: Zebra Zensations Technical Pen & Daniel Smith Watercolor on Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcard. Photo reference courtesy of GregMontani on Pixabay.

I wanted to do something a little different for this prompt, and since the tail was the most obvious difference between the pygmy and standard asian elephant, I decided to draw the backside of an elephant. And look at the sway of those hips! I suspect the pygmy elephant flirts more too!

The shapes are pretty simple, mostly partial circles and rectangles, so I just free-handed this.

The scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines.

Elephants are a dull color so I decided to go heavy on the shading
I used a .05 nib for darker lines and a PM-701 permanent marker for the heaviest area. I felt this would add to the drama of the piece.

I started with a base of Buff Titanium and let it dry.

Then, using watery mixes throughout, I let Burnt Sienna and Jane’s Gray run together. I let this dry.

Then with a barely damp brush, I picked up color from the sides of the pan where paint always splatters, and scumbled (dry brush) the same two colors here and there. Since I’m using Rough surface postcards this gave me a nice pebbly effect for that wrinkly elephant skin.

I used Princeton Velvetouch long rounds 6 & 8.

You can buy Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcards at these places:

You can buy Zebra Zensation Technical Pens here.

You can buy the Princeton Velvetouch mixed media brushes

Size 6 long round

Size 8 long round

You can buy Daniel Smith watercolor half-pans here. Pigments can also be bought separately in tubes.

6 comments

  1. Sandra, this is just delightful! Don’t know if you recall the instrumental tune “Baby Elephant Walk” but your painting brought it to mind instantly (I just know the sweetest face is on the other end of this ‘baby’!).
    Thanks for the smile!

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