Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rembrandt and Elephants

An Elephant - Rembrandt

These sketches are believed to be of a female elephant named Hansken. She was in Holland, giving Rembrandt the opportunity to draw her from life. These quick sketches capture the shape beautifully and they also hint at the detail. Elephant skin is complex, those wrinkles are full of interesting shapes and patterns. Rembrandt uses a variety of marks to hint at the skins surface. The lines move in different directions suggesting those wrinkles are everywhere, without the need to draw every line. Elephant skin contains gorgeous marks and patterns, to an artist it is both a fascinating and overwhelming task. Drawing an elephant can be time consuming and yet these quick sketches depict all that is necessary to create a realistic image. It is a trained eye, which is capable of recognizing the most important aspects of the drawing. Those acts of discernment that influence the final result, they become essential when faced with a high level of complexity. When viewing such interesting skin, it would be easy to become lost in the detail. Rembrandt maintains a high level of focus and control. 

 Hansken - Rembrandt