The canvas is backed by MDF board (which I believe is called masonite in the USA) giving me a solid surface to work on and dimensions that I want, rather than buying a ready made canvas on a frame.
Today I started painting and found myself approaching this one differently to previous work. Usually I start at the horizon and work forward straight onto the glazed surface. But this time I found myself blocking in the landscape and animals to create an underpainting. Not sure why I did this, there wasn't much forethought or considered choice.... it just felt the way to go on this piece. It could be because I have many elements and to get them 'mapped in' with colour first will help me see where I am going. As I say, it wasn't pre-planned, it just kind of happened that way. As this is not the way I usually work, it'll be interesting to see how I continue with the rest of the painting. It's good to change what you do every once and a while, isn't it.
This piece features a group of zebras casually ambling across the scene. Another painting in which I want a calm feel... a reflection of daily life rather than dramatic event portrayed. I saw a few dramatic events during my stay.... which I will paint, but my over all impression of the landscape was animals quietly going about their daily lives. So I want to try and get that feel for the exhibition too. This painting also features a few blacksmith plovers disturbed by the zebras approach and two elephants, who are tucked away in the background. This will be one of those paintings for the exhibition that are not about the elephants but show that they are very much there in the landscape either by evidence of their passing by with a few 'dollops' of elephant dung or by a glimpse of them through the trees in the background.