"The Last Big Tuskers"

Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Park both in Kenya have been home to a number of very large

tuskers. But a small handful have really stood out, with three in particular, Tusker Tim being one, another is

 Craig who both roamed Amboseli National Park with the third being Satao who roamed in Tsavo East


Tim and Craig had often browsed together, but sadly no longer, due to Tim's recent

and untimely passing in March 2020. Satao sadly was poached back in May 2014.



Apart from the three previous tuskers I've sketched, I've now sketched another beautiful big tusker

with symetrical tusks called Kamboyo to add to my big tusker collection. He was named by the 

Tsavo Trust Big Tusker Project back in 2013


He is reported to have died of natural causes and his body was spotted from the air on

February 2017, however the nature of his death still remains questionable.


I sketched this image again using Pastels on a Pastel Matt Board





Kamboyo playing with an egret


 Firstly I sketched in the outline of the elephant and then filled in a Unison light blue 16 pastel for the sky tone


Slowly I've been working on the nearby bush with the distant hills of Tsavo West in the background. 


Gradually filling in Boyo's right ear before moving to his left 


I've worked on the ear and have now work across his forehead to his other ear


I've completed both ears and his forehead now, as I start to work down his trunk to his beautifully symetrical tusks. 


 I'm using a hand bar across the image to rest my wrist on, in order to keep my hand steady and too avoid smudging.


 Gradually the trunk and legs are taking shape with the tusks ready to work on


Done his tusks and I've got him rocking back a little bit as he looks down at the egret, which I'll sketch in tomorrow.


Now I'm adding the cattle egret into the foreground of the image..


 Added a shadow to give the egret the correct distance from Kamboyo as it bounces off gives it a realistic scale

 Now off to Framers Gallery to be scanned andframed




This beautiful elephant is one of the last remaining tuskers on our planet, an elite and rare

group numbering just 20 to 30 individuals. A "Tusker" is an elephant whose tusks nearly

touch the ground and this of course makes them prime targets for poachers.


"Craig" has been sketched in pastels whilst using a reference photograph courtesy of


Mark Muller





Now waiting to be framed and displayed at the Studio/Gallery


Firstly I chalked in the outline and then added in some Unison light 16 blue pastel for the background sky effect.


I'm creating a dusty bush effect to give the sketch a lower horizon which then makes Craig dominate the image.


Working on the ear whilst using a glove so as not to scratch the paper


I'm starting with Craig's right ear and then I gradually sketch my way down his body to his feet


I've worked my way down to his back foot and the up the front foot outlining his large tusk


Smoothing in the pastel using a paper blending stump


I took over an hour fiddling around with the veins of the leading leg before I started work on the tusk and tail


I've started from the tip of the trunk now and started moving upwards to the foreheard


Using my maginifying glasses I work in the finer details of the trunk creases


 Gradually he's beginning to take shape as I move over to his left ear and then add a little bit of dust by his feet 

Now scanned and currently waiting to be framed at  

Framers Gallery



"Double Trouble"

I've sketched in pastels Tim and Craig walking together in Amboseli National Park with

Mt Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. I used a series of beautiful reference photographs of

Craig and Tim courtesy of world renowned photographer


David Yarrow Photography




Framed and now on display in the studio gallery 

Framed size 50in X 39in



I've chalked in some very fine outlines of the two elephants and added the sky and begun the background bush.


As they both lived together in Amboseli, I've decided to add "Kibo and Mawenzi" (Mt Kilimanjaro) into the background.


This will be a 34 X 22 inch image, so I'm using my larger easle. I'm beginning to fill in Craig before moving onto Tim


I'm gradually working down Craig's right flank and huge right tusk before moving back up the trunk onto his forehead


I've been laboriously working on the creases of the trunk and then I came down Craigs legs and tusks.


Continuing to work on the shadow and light of Craig's trunk working upwards onto his forehead


Craigs trunk and forehead are now beginning to take shape as I work up and across his large forehead


Craig's left side of his head and ear are now coming into shape with Mawenzi sandwiched between the two Tuskers.


With the Amboseli backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro the two Tuskers are starting to come to life.


Tim is beginning to take shape now as I complete his dragging leg. I'll now move to his right foreleg and then tusk


Now I've moved back to Tim's forehead and will go down his trunk and onto his right tusk in the process.


Gradually working down Tim's trunk


I've skeched down to the bridge of his trunk and have added his leading leg that now outlines his right tusk and trunk.


Tusks are generally darker with old tuskers, I've finished his trunk, now to move onto his left remaining tusk


 I'm now working on the foreground with a palette sponge to blend in the ochre pastel and lighter dust


Now that I've sketched in the remaining tusk, I'm adding in some ground shadows and will also add in bits of foreground


I've heightened the sky and reduced the ground area which lowers the horizon and makes the bulls look a bit larger  


Scanned image.




This magnificent bull elephant which was sadly poached back in May 2014 has been sketched in the

medium of Pastel on Pastel Matt Paper. I have used a reference photograph courtesy of


Mark Muller



Now framed, mounted and on display at the Studio Gallery

Frame size 30 X 34 inches



 I've marked the image in fine chalk and started to add the clear blue sky before moving onto the bushes and trees


I've created a suggestion of the bush and trees as the background and have now moved onto the top of the left ear 

Working at my smaller easle and adding highlights and shadows to the lower ear


Started to fill in the left ear and slowly working my way down the side of the elephant.


I'm now working on Satao's right tusk and then I'll move down the leading leg and up the trunk to the forehead.


I'm chalking in where there should be highlights to the leading leg


I've gradually worked on the leading foot, then across and up the trunk adding some dust across the back leg. 


I've completed his supporting leg and his right tusk and now I'm continuing up his trunk to the forehead and ears.


I work left to right to avoid smudging the pastel. I often use a wooden poll across the image to rest my wrist on.


I've worked on the forehead then across to his left ear. I'll now focus on the foreground and also soften the image. 


Scanned image



"Tusker Tim" 

Video of Tusker Tim

Earlier in 2020, Africa lost one of its most iconic elephants, "Tusker Tim". Recognised as one of the

continent’s largest tusked elephants. This gentle giant roamed the plains of the Amboselli

National Park on the foothills of the world's highest free standing volcano, Mt Kilimanjaro.

Tim belonged to a clade of impressive pachyderms whose genes produced enormous tusks.

He sadly passed away from natural causes on 5th February 2020 just aged 50.


Post-mortem results showed that Tim died from a twisted gut and the only marks on his

immense body were the imprints left by his companion who tried to gently lift the great

“tusker” back on his feet.



(This magnificent bull elephant was sketched in the medium of Pastel on Pastel Matt Paper)




Framed, mounted and sold to a Private Collector

Framed size 29 X 34 inches



Having marked up the elephant on the left image, I am starting to work on the background sky with a light blue.


Sketched the blurred bush and tree background and then started work on the ear of this beautiful bull elephant

I've been concentrating on the his head and then worked down his beautifully ragged right ear


I've now worked down his ear, belly and leg before moving onto his magnificent right tusk. 


I've now filled in his tusk and gone back to his forehead in order to move across to his left ear.


Having completed his right tusk, I'm moving back to his head and will gradually work down his long trunk..


 Gradually working the light down the trunk before I eventually move up to the bulls left tusk


Slowly I've been working down the trunk and leading leg, which has now shown the inside edge of the left tusk


Trunk more or less completed, now to work on the lower part of the leading leg before moving up to the tusk 

Adding shadow to th creases in the knee


Just the top of the leading leg to do before I move onto the tusk. I'll then work on the belly and then up to the ear.


Finished working on Tim's left ear, his belly and started adding the background and dust. 


 Scanned image