Ok, Here are my first few studies of an elephant. One thing I am always reminded of, when doing stuff like this, is that what I learn from the experience goes so much deeper than what is revealed in the sketch.
I spent a few hours sketching elephants at the zoo yesterday. It’s a challenge studying a moving object but I am learning a lot and beginning to understand their anatomy a bit. Hopefully I will be able to get close to an elephant before I begin painting so that I can move with the elephant and get sufficient time studying specific details. Yesterday, I would draw two or three lines in for the head then look up from my paper to find the elephants butt square in my view.
I am not aware of any paintings of elephants done in the 16th century, but the subject of this piece was one I wanted to paint long before the birth of this project. I think that it’s a good fit for this project partly because it involved a large animal and, in my opinion, it actually presents more problems than a subject involving a safe domesticated animal like a horse (a common renaissance subject).
I have begun “The Renaissance Project”. To learn more about it click on the link on the right side of the page. I built a very simple oil press in order to test a key piece that I designed (the metal portion below). This piece will be part of a larger, more efficient press that I also designed (below). We (my assistant Morgan and I) were able to produce about two tablespoons of walnut oil. Now that we know it works I will begin building the more sophisticated press.
I designed and made this box for a friend who used it to propose to his girlfreind. It is 2″ x 2″ and made of zebra wood and purple heart. In the front is a lock made of all internal wood parts. When turned a quarter turn the lock moves a piston up into the top of the box to secure it. The ring was placed around the square wood peg in the middle. It was nice to throw some wood shavings around like I used to.