ELEPHANT "CHOBE ELEPHANT"
This oil painting of a young bull elephant is perhaps in his late teens or
very early twenties, crossing the Chobe River in South Africa.
Photo reference: Grant Atkinson
This information is from Grant Atkinson, a masterful photographer who
leads highly sought after photography safaris in South Africa.
"There is an island in the middle of the Chobe River called Sedudu Island. It gets inundated by annual flooding, which recedes each year around June, leaving behind a rich layer of sediment. This in turn promotes high-quality grass growth on the island, and Chobe elephants like to cross over the river to reach the island for the great grazing. Although both males and females cross over, and calves, it is the larger males that are more frequently found crossing even where the river is deep. They have little fear of water of any depth, and seem to enjoy any excuse to enter the water. This particular bull was crossing back from Sedudu island to the south bank of the Chobe River, and the woodlands that occur there. The image was taken very late in the afternoon, right after the sun had already set.
The Chobe River, aside from being a vital source of water and food for wildlife, also acts as the boundary between Botswana and Namibia. Chobe elephants frequently travel between Botswana and Namibia, as well as nearby Zimbabwe, and they form part of the single biggest population left of African elephants.
The drawing starts directly on Ampersand Gesso Board using an HB pencil.
I seal the drawing with a thin coat of acrylic picking up a basic ground color of the subject.
I love to draw so I struggle at first to "loose" the drawing under the paint.
As I advance in my painting skills, I draw less and paint more; so in fact I draw with paints.
I am ready to start with many layers of oils to complete the painting.