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Wildlife Painting Step-by-Step Demonstration: Zebra


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Zebra Wildlife Painting: Starting with a Pencil Sketch
Wildlife Painting Step By Step Demonstration: Zebra Step 1

Zebra Painting Step 1: Sketching with a Pencil

When I decided to do a painting of a zebra, the first thing I did was to look at various reference photos of zebras. My idea was to have a single zebra, positioned as if it were drinking water, with the scene reduced down to its essence. My intention was for the focus to be on the zebra's head, with the rest of its body and its location merely being suggested, rather than painted in fine detail.

The painting was done in acrylics on canvas (36x24"/91x61cm), using a palette limited to titanium white and Paynes's grey, with a little Prussian blue, and even less bone black. As is the case with most of my paintings, I used only one brush, a no.10 size filbert.

Using a pencil, I sketched the position of the zebra straight onto the canvas, focusing on the stripes that give form to the body rather than drawing an outline. The next step is to start blocking in with some paint.

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