I visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park in June 2014, along with fellow members of the Association of Animal Artists. It was an introduction viewing of the animals to be followed up by an Exhibition of our paintings which took place at the Park on Saturday 26 July. Tigers, Lions, a Leopard and the Zebras were particularly impressive in their large enclosures.
I have aways been keen to draw a Zebra in my style but the stripes are such a strong feature that I could not work out a way of doing the animal justice with my crossover continuous lines. Of course I had seen prints of Victor Vasarely intertwined Zebras, done before the war, which helped kick start Optical Art.
Here is my photo of Zeus, a 5 year old stallion Zebra (with a brown nose).
I decided that I could use a continuous line, without any crossovers, to follow the pattern of the stripes as far as possible. As the background of my picture is white, the gaps in the lines around black stripes allow the white to flow through and become white stripes.
Of course I like to have a separate picture of the continuous line drawing without any shading or colour and I considered calling this version “Albino Zebra”. However, on searching this phrase on Google it turns out that there is only one albino Zebra in captivity in the world and that is in Hawaii (and this is not really an albino but a White Golden Zebra with a lack of pigment in its stripes). In the wild the stripes are pretty essential for camouflage and “albinos” do not survive for long. The Hawaii Zebra is a female called Zoe and so is smaller (and a bit scruffier) than Zeus. I therefore had to do a specific continuous line drawing of Zoe with a faint slate colouring.