Having finished the mural depicting the contemporary wildlife of San Diego, I have returned to the San Diego Pleistocene mural. This painting examines San Diego 20,000 years ago, back when San Diego had elephants in the form of mammoths and mastodons.
Since these murals will be installed in the San Diego Zoo’s new elephant compound, I felt that the gigantic Columbia mammoth should be prominently featured in the painting. Because of its importance, I endeavored to paint a truly monumental depiction of this mighty beast.
Note that the tapir and flamingo are pretty roughly blocked in here. I decided to move the tapir as it didn’t seem to be on the same plane as the flamingo and mammoth. You can see my hasty repositioning here:
I then refined the tapir and painted out the ghost image on which the new tapir painting overlapped.
For this southern California prehistoric tapir I chose a coat pattern based upon young modern tapirs, as the coat and color patterns of the fur, feathers and scales of young animals are often vestigial throwbacks to their ancestors.
As you can see, I corrected the flamingo’s anatomy and proportions from the rough lay-in.
Note that the uniquely curved beak of the flamingo had not yet evolved.
Here’s all three animals together. I’ve also started reworking the sabertooth cats.
…and the entire painting so far:
Next: The Jaguar and Sabertooths