This is the first stage of my painting of the African Elephant. It is done on stretched canvas and is 24 x 30 inches so it has quite a presence in a room. I started by drawing my image on the canvas with a pastel pencil. I like to use these as I can rub out lines easily if they are not quite right. I usually do a lot of rubbing out in the beginning. I think the main ingrediant to a successful painting is getting the drawing right. I wanted the crop to be quite tight with not a lot of background showing. This way the elephant has all the attention, as it should. I use the blue paint to draw in the image after I am satisfied with the drawing. I start to do some modeling at this stage indicating where I will be putting the shadows and the hightlights.