🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Gentle Giant

“Keep five yards from a carriage, ten yards from a horse, and a hundred yards from an elephant; but the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured.”
- Indian Proverb

"African Elephant" - Acrylic on Canvas - Maree©

With a height of just over 3 - 4m (measured at the shoulder), a length of between 6 to 7.5m (that's the length of an average motor car garage!) and weighing in at 6 tonnes, these mostly gentle giants of the African bush are highly intelligent with a strong sense of family and herd, and a complex social structure.

Elephants are incredibly social animals: they form strong, long-lasting bonds within their herd. They adopt orphaned calves, help injured elephants and work together. They have surprisingly complicated behavioural patterns and interactions. An injured member may be helped to its feet and supported by other herd members: if it is badly wounded, it may be vigorously defended by the herd, with even the calves taking part. Although elephants are normally peaceful individuals, they can be aggressive and extremely dangerous, especially if they are sick or injured. Females in groups with young are particularly unpredictable, as are males in musth.

Here in Africa they are native to a wide variety of habitats including semi-desert scrub, open savannas and dense forest regions. Besides its greater size, it differs from the Asian elephant in having larger ears and tusks, a sloping forehead, and two “fingers” at the tip of its trunk, compared to only one in the Asian species.

For this sketch, I looked at many different photographs from a great many angles, and developed this stance from all the 'information' I had gathered in my mind.

Acrylic on Acrylic Gesso primed un-stretched acrylic canvas sheet 12" x 8"

If you would like to buy a print of this painting, go to RedBubble or e-mail me if you are interested in the original.

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