Sketches And Paintings of Animals

I’ve been working on a painting that comes from this sketch.

Giraffe and Baby

Adult Giraffes grow up to 15 to 19 feet tall and weigh in between 1,000 to 2,800 lbs. Females are not as tall as the males and weigh less. The birth height of most Giraffes is 6 feet tall and their legs along when adults are 6 feet long.  I’ll post the painting of the mother Giraffe and her baby as soon as I finish the painting.  Right now I’m waiting for it to dry so I can paint another layer of detail and fur.

Several layers later I’ve been able to paint the mother Giraffe and her baby in a little more detail on a 16 x 20 size canvas.

Giraffe Painting

The first layer was black acrylic with 2 layers of white acrylic. The next several layers I watered down vandyke brown with linseed oil to paint the spots in. The lighter colors in the ears and skin I used a lot of linseed oil while incorporating small amounts of vandyke brown,  burnt  sienna and titanium white.

The two Giraffe’s are far from done as I still need to make a few more layers to bring out the contrast of the Giraffe’s. I’ll also be changing the background from black to a more pleasing shade. By pleasing I mean a color that’s not so dark.

Giraffe's Finished

I used coerulem (turquoise) and viridian (emerald green) with a small amount of titanium white for the background. This painting was a test run and if I were to paint this again I wouldn’t make the background all black again.

I’ve been working on this Tiger for about 14 hours and have made several layers with prismacolor pencils and​ a layer of oil paint watered down with paint thinner.


Using burnt orchre for the first layer I sketched lightly. The second layer I mixed a small amount of burnt sienna and dipped a size zero brush in paint thinner.


After the paint thinner dried I applied another layer of burnt orchre. Took a break and applied a layer of orange (pale vermillon).


It took several layers of black pressing hard to make the Tigers stripes nice and dark.


This is the first part of creating the Tiger. I will be working on the Tiger and the background over the next several days. I’ll post the progress, pictures and final mixed media composition at that time.

Pressing hard on the pencils causes swelling in my hand if I don’t take frequent breaks. I plan to search online for pencils with a richer pigmentation so I won’t aggravate my hand. If I find a higher quality pencil I’ll certainly post them.

Background for Tiger

For the background, still using the prismacolor pencils; I used one layer of true green and a layer of light aqua.

This picture is the first layer of white acrylic paint that I used to make the fur in the Tigers ears.

Tiger First Acrylic


Using the same size zero brush and white paint I painted in the whiskers and in and around the Tigers nose and chin.

White Acrylic and Brush

There are many different brands of acrylic. The viscosity of the Liquitex brand works the best for me with small details and a size zero brush.

Two layers of white acrylic later the Tiger is now finished.

Tiger Finished

Now for this painting with the Zebra with Leopard spots, Tiger stripes and paw prints I didn’t compose a sketch. This painting is 28 x 22 and the Zebra was already painted on the canvas a year ago. I wasn’t until  just recently that I added more abstract design to it.

Zebra Mix

I made a small stencil out of cardboard for the Tiger paw prints and I fee handed the strips and the Leopard spots.

Here’s a light sketch of the painting. I wasn’t able to color in the stripes on the Zebra because the prismacolor pencils just don’t give me that deep rich color like pastels or charcoal does. This sketch is in an 11 x 14 hardback bound sketch book and I didn’t want to make a mess of the book.

Zebra Mix Sketch


The way I was able to get a nice even layer of black with the Tiger’s strips is I had to color in about 6 layers using the black pencil.



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