Friday, February 5, 2016

How I Drew an #Elephant

Two images on my Pinterest board inspired this week's craft.  One was an ancient rock engraving in Chad, and the other was a 1920s painting by early, contemporary, Congolese artist Albert Lubaki.  

What these two images have in common is that they are both renderings of an animal - the elephant.  While it may seem cliche to associate Africa with elephants, I was so compelled by these two images that I was moved to do this craft.

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I wondered what it was about the elephant that made an ancient artist indelibly etch its likeness using just a few lines.  Did the same qualities inspire Albert Lubaki to interpret the animal with unmistakeable character and movement?

Understand that today's craft goes beyond superficially associating an elephant with the continent.  It's more about the specific people who saw the animal and were inspired by it.  I am inspired by them.

Confession:  I don't think I am that good at drawing.  It didn't come naturally to me like it did to some kids at school.  It wasn't until very recently that I decided to explore doodling and be okay with trying different techniques.  I've had varying degrees of success.  I didn't turn to a tutorial for this technique.

Here's What I Did

  • On a piece of blank, white paper, I drew a 4" by 4" grid.  
  • I downloaded my inspiration image (the etching), and doctored it so the lines stood out more.  I also cropped it into a perfect square.
  • I layered a 4 x 4 grid over the image.  

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  • Focusing on the proportions within each square, and the fluidity of the lines, I drew my best approximation of the main parts of the image in pencil.
  • I traced over my drawing in black pen using fluid lines and confident strokes.
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  • I took a picture of my drawing and "colored it in" as a digital collage (see first image).

If you would be interested in more drawing how-to's, please let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me at artlikebread (at) gmail (dot) com.  As always, thanks for reading the blog!  Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.  If you liked this post, please share this post with a friend through social media & plan to draw an animal that inspires you!  Like my Facebook page for updates and more crafty sharing!

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