Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lord Derby Eland

I have been commissioned by African Hunting Gazette magazine to paint a Lord Derby Eland - also called a Giant Eland for an upcoming article.  Since I have not been to Central Africa where they are found I needed to get some reference.  While I much prefer photographing animals in the wild, I will use zoos and other captive situations as well.  A wildlife artist has to be aware of how being captivity can change the look of an animal such as being overweight or lack of muscle tone. So I always do a LOT of research in my vast library of books, videos and on the internet to make sure I am doing everything correctly including making sure the habitat fits with the animal.  I was lucky in that we were in Houston visiting clients and found out that the Houston happens to have Lord Derby Elands - including a MAGNIFICENT male named Winston.  We got special permission to get up close and photograph through the fence.  You can can how huge this animal is next to me.  Actually this species of Eland is not any larger than the other ones - but their horns are much larger than the other species.  The eland is the largest antelope in the world.  I'm not sure when I will actually start on the painting but I will definitely post on my blog when I do!

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