Masai Mara Antelopes at sunset

Vladimir went to Kenya a few years ago and took many beautiful pictures. I came across this one last December, as he had included it in a book he had made as a Christmas gift for Adrien.
The reference photo: four antelopes on bare flat ground against a big low sun

It looked both so graphically appealing and simple that I wanted to try me hand on it. I sketched it and prepared a round shape in masking tape:
Very rough pencil sketch and masking tape around the sheet and a round piece of masking tap in the middle

Using burnt sienna, yellow ochre and lamp black, I painted the golden sky, the ground and vegetation and the thin clouds:
Ground and weeds painted with burnt sienna, yellow ochre and lamp black, yellow ochre for the golden sky, and some burnt sienna for the clouds

For the antelopes and to darken further the ground and vegetation, I added black to my palette (apparently I botched the thicket on the left in the process, and had to turn it into a mound):
I darkened the ground and painted the antelopes silhouettes with burnt sienna and black

I removed the tape. Here is the resulting painting that occupies some of the 21×13 cm page of a Moleskin watercolor book:
Masking tape removed, date and signature applied in think black letters

I learned that the paper of this book isn’t thick enough for too much paint/water, and that it was too ambitious to render the light on the ground and around the animal immediately under the sun. At least, it’s still graphically appealing!

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