A new month means a new revitalised me! As you know, September was MANIC, with two weeks of me closing my shop due to family and friend commitments (so many weddings), preparing for and exhibiting at the Handmade Fair, and managing to squeeze in two trips to London for the final call for artists at the Society of Wildlife Artists annual exhibition-once to deliver my work, and once to collect it after it was rejected. 🙁

But no point crying over spilled milk- my friends have already ruined me emotionally with so many marriages, and now babies too! If anything, it has made me very grateful that I can be part of all these wonderful moments which lets face it-are way more important that work! Plus, I see each set back as a lesson learned, and I am still over the moon to have got so far in such a short amount of time. My big break will come soon, I can feel it!

In the mean time, I am immensely looking forward to completing the new workshop/art studio, and allowing myself the freedom to explore what makes me truly happy-wildlife art. With that in mind I wanted to take this weeks blog opportunity to share with you one of my recent works-in-progress, the latest addition to my elephant family. This time I am working with two colours of ink to create the head of an elephant with my own contemporary twist. I have chosen blue ink in addition to black, to give a small variation in colour and tone. My intention to be one of subtlety rather than boldness, in an attempt to draw the viewers eye into the drawing to differentiate the colours and in turn really benefiting from the complexities of the dotwork textures and layering. I have a long way to go until it’s completion but I am feeling OK about it’s progress so far. I am always nervous when using colour because it pushes me out of my comfort zone. We shall see.

First of all, here is a time lapse video of me working on the ear of the elephant. Apologies for the poor film quality, a decent tripod for my dslr is top of my to-do-list as soon as my new studio is ready. I was however, rather impressed with my video considering it was made using my i-phone balanced on a vase, such a pro.


And here are some stills taken of my work far. In all, I am pleased with my layering pointillism technique-where I use layers of dots to create texture, depth, and movement to the animal. I was unsure if this would transcribe well from wood to paper as paper is less forgiving on the eye because there is no grain to enhance the illusion of textured skin. I think working with paper is making me a stronger artist because I need to perfect certain elements of my drawing style to produce depth and movement on a blank piece of paper, whereas wood is so tactile that you can use the grain to your advantage by allowing it to shape the animal and enhance details. Although working with the grain is my favourite aspect of my work, I am beginning to really appreciate the paper medium for presenting the opposite of the grain challenge-completely open blank space…the most frightening thing for any creative!


Sketchbook, artist view elephant drawing Jes Hooper elephant drawing work in progress To scale, Jes Hooper hand and elephant face Dotwork in the ear Close up of elephant face and ear

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my progress so far, please feel free to leave me feedback below, I love to know what you think!

Once complete, this piece will be available in limited edition framed and unframed giclee prints of A3 and A4. I also plan on offering framed editions with my own handmade navy blue mounting. You can pre-order yours by contacting me here; or join my mailing list to apply the latest in my exclusive subscribers discounts 🙂





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