Thursday, 3 October 2013

Elephant No. 31: Bookmarks

I never seem to have enough bookmarks for all the books I'm reading at any given time, so today I decided to make some.

I started by cutting four pieces of bristol board measuring approximately 2.25 x 6.5 inches (5.7 x 16.5 cm). I sketched a different elephant design on each, not being particularly realistic, nor particularly stylized.

I used a permanent pigment liner pen to outline everything, then heat set the ink with a hairdryer.

I coloured them in with watercolour pencils: Derwent Graphitint pencils for the grey, and Derwent Inktense for everything else. I shaded to a certain extent as I went, but I intended to wet all of the colours, so I wasn't terribly precise with the pencils. For the coloured backgrounds, I scribbled with the flat of the various Inktense colours and pressed hard to make sure I had lots of colour to work with.

Once I'd coloured everything in, I painted over the elephants with a moderately wet paintbrush. For the backgrounds, I used a fairly wet paintbrush to release the saturated Inktense colours.

To finish them off, I punched a hole in the top of each bookmark, and added a bit of ribbon using scraps left over from various projects.

I liked making these a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm pretty happy with the final result. In fact, if I'd known how quick and easy they'd be, I'd have said adiĆ³s long ago to all the bits of junk mail, tags and other scraps of paper I use to mark my place.

Elephant Lore of the Day

At Angkor Thom in Cambodia, King Jayavarman VII ordered the design and construction of a terrace supported by elephants. Built of stone, wood and thatch, the 350-metre-long Terrace of the Elephants was essentially a giant reviewing stand, used by the king to view his returning army—which no doubt included elephants.

The Terrace was also used for public ceremonies, and as the king's audience hall. Although in ruins today, it originally had five sections extending towards a central square. The retaining wall is decorated with life-sized lions, bookended by two parades of elephants with their Khmer mahouts.

A section of the Terrace of the Elephants, Angkor Thom,

Ruins of the Terrace of the Elephants, Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

To Support Elephant Welfare
Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary (Thailand)
Wildlife SOS (India) 
The Elephant Sanctuary (Tennessee)

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

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