My latest painting is a giraffe painting. He or she, I’m not sure which, is soon to be happily munching on some tasty leaves.

With all the paintings I’ve done, I’ve not painted a giraffe yet so I thought it was time. Actually, a giraffe has been suggested a couple of times on my Facebook page but it just hasn’t felt time yet until now.

Watch the painting happen while I tell you why. 

Beginning of blocking in giraffe painting

This shows my sketch in charcoal and just beginning the blocking in.

When I grew up, my dad was an avid nature show watcher. So I remember watching countless shows with him on ants, tigers, elephants, spiders and monkeys and spider monkeys! Well you get the idea, the animal and creature list goes on forever not to mention planets and outer space… Nova was a regular visitor in our home.

giraffe painting blocked in

He’s all blocked in now except his muzzle (?)

At the time, I was bored being forced to watch these shows. Even though I would of course get into the show within 2 minutes. I was ten years old when cable came to town and I wanted to watch all the new shows available to me. However, Dad (the remote control king) wasn’t interested in seeing kids getting slimed on Nickelodeon.

adding fur and spots to giraffe

added in his fur and spots

Fast forward to my adult years and I guess the love of nature shows stuck. So now, my son and I love to watch them. The choices now are endless! We’ve got the National Geographic channel, Animal Planet, and of course good ol’ PBS.

There is a new mini-series on PBS called “Spy in the wild”. It is fantastic! It’s like getting an inside look at the animals lives because there are fake animals living among the real ones and they have spy cameras on them, usually as an eyeball. Asher and I love watching them together.

giraffe painting waiting for foliage

Adding eyes and of course those eyelashes! Don’t forget whiskers

So in the first episode, it talked about how they discovered new behaviors in animals that they had not intended on spying on. In this case, it was giraffes. I think the camera on a tortoise was the spy which happened to catch the giraffes behavior.

adding in the tree branches and leaves for the giraffe to eat

Here I have added in branches and leaves

Giraffes live in herds. They’re like a family. In this spy instance, the camera discovered an elderly giraffe had died. Mysteriously, various herds (families) came from miles around to go and see the dead giraffe. There was no reason for the far away giraffes to know of his death, it’s not like there is a Facebook for the animals. So it was strange, do they have a mental telepathy with one another? A special 6th sense? It was amazing how they all came to see him. It seemed to me they were paying their respects. I immediately thought of it like a funeral procession. That was all it took, and I knew I had to paint this magnificent creature.

Side note: I am always transfixed when I encounter a funeral procession, aren’t you? I am respectful and pull my car over, all the while thinking of the family and friends as I peek into their cars as they drive by. I wonder who died? How old were they and what kind of life did they live? Did they know they were going to die? It always makes me a little teary eyed as well, thinking of all my family I’ve lost and how a funeral procession is such a common acceptance in my life.

Anyway…

giraffe painting nearly done

hi-lights to the leaves and he’s nearly done.

I at first wanted to paint the image I saw from the show… but thought I better try to focus on one giraffe my first go around. But I really do think a new painting will come about eventually including the procession. It touched me deeply. Being a lover of animals, I’ve always known they have emotions and feelings like love, sadness and compassion. This of course solidifies it showing the grief and respect the giraffes gave to this once strong male.

JuJu in the window in my art studio and a giraffe painting on my easel

She’s not my model. (Ju Ju in the window)

I love the above photo with JuJu in the window. She’s not actually looking my way, but she’s so dark you can’t tell.

So I have a few more tweaks I want to add to him and then I’ll have this giraffe painting available for purchase in a day or two, it will be in my shop here. It’s a 14″x11″ acrylic painting on canvas.

UPDATE: “Happy Snacker” as I’ve titled him, has sold. Happily, I’ll have prints available soon!


paintings by Jaime Haney

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery.

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