A day at the Zoo for our sketch group yesterday, always a visual feast, though most of the models will not hold still for even a moment. I spent too long walking around deciding where to start but at last, sat in front of the hippos and in a bit of a flap, pulled out my watercolours and began with all the wrong colours. Close to me were a peacock and two guineafowl having a non-stop go, taking turns to peck and harass each other. I felt like going over to sort it out, but I guess that's how they spend their days, with or without me....
Then across the path to some brilliantly coloured birds, but first there was a sweet cockatoo gazing at me with fascination, and seemingly posing on the bars, even starting a conversation with a gruff hello (must have been someone's pet), so I drew him with my brushpen and a touch of colour. On to the the luminescently orange Scarlet Ibises - no ways could I get that colour on paper - then the elephants, who though they seem to move slowly, can one minute be right in front of you, and the next are small grey lumps on the horizon, so I didn't get very far with them.
A break for lunch with the group and a look at what everyone else had been doing - one of these days we'll get a Joburg Sketchers blog going - then a couple of us wandered down to the apes. Most of the cages were unoccupied for some reason, but we found the enormous Gorilla being fed his lunch. This was one guy who just tugged at my heartstrings, in his large but lonely enclosure. He should be in the rainforests of Central Africa, perhaps if he were, he would've been bushmeat by now... but I don't think he realises his luck.
And lastly, the lemurs, engaging and paintable though endlessly active creatures. They've obviously featured in a movie lately as many of the children who saw them rushed up to them in delight yelling something about King Julian..? Well I've just looked it up and it was 'Madagascar' - I'm sadly behind on animated movies now that my kids have grown up (though my 19 year-old did come to Toy Story 3 with me!)