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

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Gemsbuck in the Kalahari desert

I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?
- James Thomson

The gemsbok or gemsbuck (Oryx gazella) is a large African antelope, of the Oryx genus. The name is derived from the Dutch name of the male chamois, gemsbok. Although there are some superficial similarities in appearance (especially in the colour of the face area), the chamois and the oryx are not closely related.

Gemsbok are light brownish-grey to tan in colour, with lighter patches to the bottom rear of the rump. Their tails are long and black in colour. A dark brown stripe extends from the chin down the bottom edge of the neck through the join of the shoulder and leg along the lower flank of each side to the brown section of the rear leg. They have muscular necks and shoulders and their legs have white 'socks' with a black patch on the front of both the front legs and both genders have long straight horns.

This is a watercolour painting I did as I imagined them trudging through the desert on their way to find water.


  1. I love the way this painting resembles a sketch. And with very few brushstrokes, you captured the beleaguered pace of these animals.

  2. Aaaah, thanks so much for that Margaret, pleased you like it! It sure must be a hard life for them...



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