Saturday 12 August 2017

How to Steampunk a Giraffe!

Last year I went to Florida and had the most unforgettable experience of hand feeding a very friendly giraffe at Busch Gardens. I got so many amazing photos and knew that I would have to do a lot of giraffe artwork when I got back home!
 I decided I would have to paint a Steampunk giraffe to go with the rest of my animals in Steampunk hats series of paintings and started thinking about what hat would look best on a giraffe!

I decided he would have to be an explorer and after seeing my partners very nice new pith helmet, above, at the last West Midlands Steampunk Assembly's very fun expedition to hunt dinosaurs at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham in June, I knew the giraffe would look great in a pith helmet and goggles!

A lot of people ask me how I get the animals to wear the hats in my artworks, I don't think many of them would be too happy with me dressing them up so I do use a little bit of photoshop magic before I start the artwork. I prefer to work from real hats as I can get more detail, to control the lighting and also sometimes wear them while painting so I an see what it looks like on! So I borrowed the pith helmet and took a few photos from various angles. I then put these into photoshop and added the pith helmet to one of my photos of the giraffe.

Here is what he looks like and what I work from while I am doing the painting. It is very roughly photoshopped (and excuse my thumb!) but I only need a rough idea and can alter things as I paint.

Explorer Giraffe - Acrylic Painting
And here he is, the finished painting! I think he looks very cute in his pith helmet and goggles!

Explorer Giraffe - Greeting Card
I also made him into a greeting card to go with my many cards depicting my animals in Steampunk hats!

Steampunk Animal Cards
I'm sure there will be a few more Steampunk inspired giraffe paintings coming soon and there may be a few more animals wearing pith helmets as they are great fun to paint!

Clare xx

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