Sunday, October 7, 2018


The Maclise Art Society have a monthly challenge to paint a theme, and the theme for October 5th was "animal". I was just back from France and had very little time to do anything, so I checked some photos of a female giraffe that I had taken a few weeks before in La Palmyre zoo, decided that they were too complex to use in the time available, and looked for a simpler image on the internet.

The photo I used was taken by Karen Pulfer Focht in Memphis zoo in 2008. I secured the photographer's permission to use the image.

You can see the progess from original photo, to using a grid app, and making use of the ground colour and texture on Mi-Teintes Touch paper. I finally painted the background dark blue (Sennelier 463) to conceal the grid lines. The final result is 10 x 8 ins.

I liked this photo so much I decided to paint it again, this time doing a mirror image so that I would have better control over the pastel (being right-handed).
Maternity © Niall O'Neill


  1. Beautiful beautiful job... Really feeling the love !

  2. Thank you for your compliment. I have discovered that the original photograph was taken by Karen Pulfer Focht in Memphis Zoo in 2008, and she has given me permission to paint it for personal use.