I'm very excited to have been asked to design and paint a life-sized baby elephant for The Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS). When it's finished the fibre glass model will take part in an event called The Elephant Parade that's being held this Summer. Afterwards the total of 260 elephants will be displayed in various sites around London. More details about the parade can be found here; http://www.elephantparade.com/home/For my elephant I've gone back to an Orient Express Magazine cover I was commissioned to do a couple of years ago.
The Orient Express Magazine 2008
The style of collage makes the elephants appear to blend with their habitat. Two other nature pieces;
Snake in the Grass 2003
Autumn leaves 2003
These images were all done in the paper mosaic style, which consists of cutting an insane amount of tiny pieces of paper out, then sticking them down in a kind of paper marquetry. I will be attempting to create the same effect using acrylic paint for the elephant.
My sketch of a multicoloured rain forest for the elephant
So here is what I came up with. I wanted to link the plight of the elephants with that of the orangutans in my design, and felt the rain forest was a perfect backdrop for both. Sadly, if we carry on the course of destruction we are on, we will eventually have none of it. I wanted the rain forest shine out like a jewel, with a mother and baby orangutan riding on the front of our SOS elephant.
Life-sized fibre glass baby elephant
This is one I did earlier too. Mother and baby orangutan, taken from the SOS Orangutan Book which you can find here; http://bit.ly/7kn6Fy
Side view sketch of elephant
Both of my sketches have been rendered in felt tip pen. When the elephant arrives I plan to have the acrylic colours all mixed and ready - and I realise there will be lots. I'll also be filming the progress on Gawker and posting it in various places.
For more information about the Sumatran Orangutan Society take a look here; http://www.orangutans-sos.org/
The Elephant Parade Maquette
Whilst anticipating the arrival of the actual elephant, I'm still slightly nervous about the size of what's coming as well as the three-dimensionality of it. So with this in mind I've decided to make a maquette, so I can have a little practice.
I began with wooden kebab sticks and sellotape.