Elephant! Based on a photo by Susan Portnoy

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A few days ago, i stumbled upon the blog og RIK REIMERT. He had just posted some photos of an elephant that he was drawing very metecilously with a black pen. I have always sort of shyed away from using pens, stylos or other kind of materials that you have to be precise about. With a pencil, you can pass over the samme area multiple times until the fuzzyness of the multitude of lines begin to form a shape – when you put down your first black ink-stroke, hovever, there is no turning back.

Ultimately, I’d like to make nice, spontanous sketches with a pen – without needing to focus so much on not doing anything wrong.. RIK REIMERT elephants are very graphical and detailed, and it is definetly not a ”sketching” method, but i really liked the look of it, and for me, if i can decipher some kind of ”key” to getting the pen to look like something – i’m in.. So I decided to try and do something easy, the way he draws it. I made a search for ”Elephant” on the WordPress reader, and found a lot of stuff. I chose some wonderful elephant-photos by SUSAN PORTNOY and got her persission to use her photos as motif… Now, I’m not that experienced, and I haven’t got a long time to draw each day, so instead of attempting to draw a full scene, i cut out a little section on one of the photos – and I’ve been drawing this drawing for about 1-1½ hours this morning. I actually nearly missed my train!

I’m not 100% happy with the result – although i had a printed copy of one of RIK REIMERT elephants as a reference, his tecnique isn’t so easy to copy.. It also takes a steady hand, and if i were more consistent in the direction og hatch-lines, it would be better.. But ok – it’s propably the prettiest thing i have ever done with a pen, so i suppose it’s progress !

I might draw a larger section, or perhaps a full scene of one of SUSAN PORTNOY‘s photos later on – this has mostly been an excercise in hatching and drawing with a pen, but the photos have a lot to offer in regards og composition and beautiful motifs.

Thanks to SUSAN PORTNOY for letting me use her photos and thanks to RIK REIMERT for putting up some inspirational drawings (i didn’t ask Rik’s permission to for me to rip off his technique – i hope it’s ok)

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The original photo by Susan Portnoy

0 thoughts on “Elephant! Based on a photo by Susan Portnoy”

  1. Hey,

    Thanks for linking to my site, so I could see your work. It’s alway nice to see and hear that my work can inspire others… I like your work, and I will give you a tip: Don’t make the lines to long. This give the drawing a ‘static’ feeling, whether if you look closely to my work, you can see that most of my lines are short. This gives the work a more lively feeling (and it’s more easy to draw steady short lines, long ones tend to wobble….) Keep up the great work!



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