I made a painting for my husband a few years ago for one of our anniversaries. Of course I forgot to date it (ARGH!!!) so I have no idea exactly when. We’d talked about places we wanted to go, things we wanted to see and do. He and I shared one dream – to go on an African Safari. Of course, I want to go everywhere. I was a National Geographic NUT when I was a teen and dreamed of being a photographic journalist (as well as a marine biologist) going on Amazon trips and Congo River rides… I’m not sure I had really thought things through, see, I prefer cold weather to hot, hate to sweat and am not a fan of mosquitoes.
Still, I wanted to give this to my husband in the only way I could at the time – the African Safari, the elephants (his favorite animal). I’m not one hundred percent happy with it, but he loves it and it has been a little focal point in our living room for years. This was the initial sketch:
I spent most of the time on the elephants and the rest was just supposed to be the background. The elephants were the focal point and stood for him (in the front) and me. I don’t remember what image I used, if it was two elephants in one picture or if I just used different references. I wish I had started keeping a blog about my art a long time ago, but alas…
I drew this on watercolor paper and the only thing I remember is that it was cold press. It was about the 4th or 5th time I’d used watercolor in my life, so I didn’t know how to fade everything else into the background, to use colors to intensify the focus on the elephants. The plants were barely referenced, the shadows weren’t great, I used a lot of heavy paint… I made a lot of mistakes but it doesn’t matter because my husband loves this picture:
So if you’re thinking about someone that you’d like to do a drawing or painting for, think about their favorite things and just do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best artist on the planet (no such thing, by the way) or if you’re a beginner. If it’s someone you love and that loves you, most likely they’re going to love the gift 🙂 Go for it. Be brave and put your artwork (and by extension yourself) out there.