Circus Elephant

This is an illustration for a picture book that I’m working on. It’s an Asian elephant that I saw at the circus last year.

The paper is 140 lb. Arches hot press and the painting was done with watercolor and drawn, first in pencil then ink. There weren’t very many colors used, mostly purple, yellow and blue. There is actually a decorative border on the painting but it didn’t fit on the scanner.

Circus Elephant
Circus Elephant – Watercolor and Ink

Before you get all angry activist on me for going to the circus, you should know that Ringling Bros. founded the Center for Elephant Conservation here in Florida in 1995. The  “200-acre, state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the conservation, breeding, and understanding of these amazing animals.”

The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) weighs between 3-7 tons (6,000-14,000 lbs.) and is between 7-12 feet tall. They have been on the endangered species list since 1976.
Ringling is putting their many years of experience to good use and these heartwarming pictures of their elephant calves are proof of their success:

The circus is where we get to meet and fall in love with the elephant in person. Once you see an elephant you never forget them.