So, it's been awhile. I decided to take up painting more seriously, and since I seem to enjoy painting large mammals, lately from the African continent, I painted an elephant. This one is a mixed media piece in that I used charcoal in addition to acrylic paint. There are also some hints of graphite from the under layer. I generally leave some of my "working marks" because I like the effect. Obviously I'm not after realism. It's a fairly large piece, at 30 by 40 inches. I went into it not knowing exactly what colors I would use, and it ended up to be a bit of a "white elephant". Now, a white elephant gift, in my culture anyway, is an odd gift that you give as a sort of joke. Everybody shows up and tries to outdo each other with the weirdest gift around. However, looking up the origins of the "white elephant gift" I discovered something a little more interesting here . I'm pretty fond of elephants, actually, and I didn't paint this as a joke. Despite their size, they seem to be pretty gentle creatures and it's hard not to be fascinated by them. While elephants may not be sacred according to my spiritual beliefs, any more than any other creature, I nonetheless have some feelings of reverence towards them. At this point in time I don't have any intentions to paint anything that isn't uplifting in some way, and respectful of my subject, so I'm moving forward with that.