Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Elephant No. 57: Little Hallowe'en Illustrations

Hallowe'en is only a couple of days away, so for today's elephant I thought I'd draw some little Hallowe'en-themed illustrations with elephants. Most of these are about two or three inches by an inch or two (5–7.5 cm x 2.5–5 cm), which was about the size I wanted to work with today.

I didn't really have an idea of what these would look like when I started, but I figured something would probably come to me.

I thought about using a drafting pen for these, then decided to avoid the annoyance of clogged tips and just use a really fine marker.

I began by sketching out some ideas in pencil, mostly just to inspire myself. I hadn't planned to end up with a bunch of elephants in Hallowe'en costumes, but that's what happened.

Duly inspired, I began doing the ink versions. This is what I ended up with, in the order in which I drew them.

They looked a bit plain, and I had some extra time, so I decided to colour them in. I thought watercolour might look nice, so I used a hairdryer on my original drawings, just to make sure they were water-resistant.

Instead of watercolour paint, I used watercolour pencils, which are a little less opaque. And here are the final versions.

Sometimes I like small projects like this. And sometimes I just like drawing. I wasn't sure how well elephants would lend themselves to a Hallowe'en theme when I started, but I'm rather pleased with the way these little guys turned out.

Elephant Lore of the Day
Although elephants aren't afraid of mice, according to ancient Roman writings, they're terrified of squealing pigs.

In On the Characteristics of Animals, Aelian writes that the Romans put the elephants of Pyrrhus to flight in 275 B.C. by setting pigs among them. Even worse, when Antigonus II was besieging Megara, pigs were released to scatter the war elephants. To make sure they squealed, the unfortunate creatures were cruelly smeared with pitch and set on fire. The elephants bolted in terror from the flaming, squealing pigs, often killing their own soldiers.

Pliny the Elder also writes of the ability of a squealing pig to startle an elephant, saying "elephants are scared by the smallest squeal of the hog." And in The Gothic War, Procopius describes how a war elephant approached the wall of the besieged town of Edessa. Although the elephant easily loomed over that particular section of wall, the defenders suspended a squealing pig from the walls, causing the elephant to panic and run amok.

Source: https://blogs.k-state.edu/kstatenews/2012/11/15/researchers-

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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