POTD 15.07.19 - Close Encounter With an Elephant Calf

Here is one of the most special animal encounters I’ve ever had in my life.

This is a two week old elephant calf. It isn’t a typical sighting to see the calves out in the open like this. Usually the mother and other females hide the calves away in the bush until they are big enough to not be threatened by predators as well as other male bull elephants. While we observed this group from a safe distance the females surrounded the baby and made some pretty intimidating growls to let us know not to come any closer. To my girlfriend and I, every one of these moments in Udawalawe National Park was new and amazing but for our guide who had 10 years of experience guiding folks through the park not a lot got him visibly excited, but this moment got him pretty giddy. What a privilege it was to see this baby up close.

SKETCH OF THE DAY 12.07.19 - First Commissioned Digital Illustration

As a young lad I thoroughly enjoyed drawing. I would sit down and watch YTV and try to draw my favourite animated characters. From the prince of the fallen Saiyan race to a sponge that lived in a pineapple under the sea, I would attempt to draw them all! As I grew older these energies were focused into other things and my passion for drawing dwindled to doodles in the margins of my notebooks. Drawing took a backseat to photography/videography and music. Flash-forward many years later and something unexpected happened. I was introduced to Procreate, a powerful and intuitive drawing application. If you follow along with anything I post across my social media platforms you may have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of digital drawings lately. This app has single-handedly rekindled my interest in drawing. In the past few weeks I’ve been setting aside time just about everyday to get a little practice in to make up for all my lost drawing time. Recently I had someone I know notice that I was doing a lot of drawing, so she decided to hit me up to see if I was up for the task of doing a portrait of her beloved kitty-cat which she recently had to get put down. I was honoured and willing to make an attempt at it. I wasn’t sure exactly how to approach this because what I usually draw is a bit more cartoony, but I gave it a go anyways. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out and more importantly she seemed very happy with it as well. Here is my Illustration of Lyla the cat. May she rest in peace.

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This illustration took way longer than I care to admit, but it’s all welcomed practice. I learned a lot about workflow and the order of operations when doing this sort of thing. I hope to get more opportunities to do this kind of work in the future.

POTD 04.07.19 - Elephant Rush

While I was in Sri Lanka I went on few safari tours through Udawalawe National Park. Before this I had never seen elephants in their natural habitat, nor had I been on a safari, so this was a pretty special experience for me. On my last tour through the park we were really lucky because we were with one of the most experienced guides and drivers in the park. It was just my girlfriend and I with them on this particular tour. We rolled into the park as the sun was just peaking over the horizon. The park was blanketed in a thick fog— not the most ideal conditions for spotting animals however, judging by how keen of an eye our guide had in previous days we knew we were in good hands. We entered the park and made our way down the red dirt roads and within minutes we approached a silhouette of an elephant off in the distance. We pulled up close enough to see the elephant in the mist, but far enough away to not bother the massive mammal. The driver turned off the ignition. Our guide quietly let us know that this was a male bull elephant in heat. We observed the elephant for a minute or two and he observed us… Eventually the elephant began to turn towards us and slowly make it’s way in our general direction. For an animal so large it was amazing how little noise they make as they move around. Eventually this enormous male was a stones throw away and he was continuing to make his way even closer to us. At this point our guide pulled out his phone to shoot this encounter and the driver turned our vehicle back on. Before I could even process what exactly was happening our driver began to peel out and this elephant began to chase us. Our guide yelled at the elephant in hopes to deter it from hitting our vehicle. It chased us for a few seconds before stopping and disappearing into the bush. I guess we weren’t worth the hassle. Luckily for us this was just a bluff charge. Our guide let us know that the males can sometimes be a little aggressive when they are in heat.

Our guide had the wherewithal to shoot video of this event unfolding and I was also able to grab a couple stills as well. This was one of my favourite moments in Sri Lanka and I’m glad we were able to capture it.

POTD 19.06.19 - Blue Tailed Bee Eater

Spotted these tiny colourful birds in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka.