"The Last of the Big Tuskers


The following names are seven of the Big Tuskers that I have sketched.

Green indicates the tuskers that are still alive today.


"Tim, Satao, Craig, Kamboyo, One Ton, Tolstoy, Ahmed"




Ahmed lived in Marsabit National Park in the north of Kenya. He was a loner and being elusive he was seldom

seen. He was declared a living monument and to provide him with Presidential protection, five armed rangers

ensured security surveillance around the clock. The  plans worked and he was able to live his last years in safety.

On January 18th 1974 he died of natural causes. His body was not found lying on it's side, but resting majestically

on his famous tusks, half leaning against a tree.


This image has been sketched in Pastel on Pastel Matt Board




Framed, mounted and now on display at the Studio/Gallery

Frame Size 27 X 33 inches


The following sequence below is how I sketched this image 


Sketched in the lines in pastel and then added the Unison light blue 16 pastel for the sky


I've started on Ahmed's right ear and gradually worked down his front leg whilst outlining his massive tusk.


Working my way down the leg along side the tusk and trunk and eventually to the feet. 


Worked across his forehead, then down along the trunk onto his right tusk and then around his leading foot.


Gradually I moved from left to right as I filled in his remaining ear, before working on the background 


 Slowly I started working on the scrub bushes and the trail of dust


I've now added his left ear and have started working on the background trees


I've added a stll and dusty effect to the background trees and a hazy outline of Mt Marsabit in the distance 


 Scanned image



Tolstoy was one of the very few big Tuskers left in Africa. He was an old, big and powerful bull which had

brought him to the top of the male elephant hierarchy in Kenya! He roamed the Kimana Sanctuary, a narrow piece

of protected community land that provide elephants and other animals with water and safe passage as they travel

east from Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya. Bulls like Tolstoy shared their rich life experiences with other

elephants and are the mentors of the younger bulls, often intervening in any unusual or anti-social behaviour. Sadly

Tolstoy died on 27th April 2022 from complications to a wound which weakened his condition and he was unable

to get back on his feet


This image has been sketched in Pastel on Pastel Matt Board




Framed, mounted and on display at the Studio/Gallery

Frame Size 27 X 31 inches


Below is how I sketched this image in pastel


I've sketched the outline in a pastel pencil before adding the Unison light blue 16 pastel for the African sky


I've added some bush background and begun on Tolsty's right ear before I start working across the forehead

At the medium easel I'm still working on the right ear before moving across his forehead 


Slowly worked across the forehead and then I've come down to the tip of the trunk. I'll do his remaining ear next.


I've finished his left ear for the time being and I'm now working down his right flank.

Still working around the base of hi right tusk


Having done the back leg I then moved onto his right leg and then worked in his right tusk.


 I gradually started to fill in his leading leg and then moved  to his distinctive left tusk


Using a fine eraser to add nicks a scrapes in the tusk by removing the top layer, to show the lower dark layer.


 I've added Mt Kilimanjaro and sister peak Mawenzi as a background and now I'm working on the foreground 

Scanned image




"One Ton"

This large Tusker currently roams the the Chyulu Hills in Kenya. It's assumed that One Ton isn’t originally

from this area, however it has been agreed that he is most likely to have originated from the Tsavo

region. He sadly broke his beautiful right tusk in 2011 in a territorial battle with another large bull.

The name One Ton originates from Richard Bonham from Big Life Foundation. It comes

from Richard's racing youth when he would get his cars up to 100kph or "one ton".

This is almost as quick as One Ton used to charge at humans in the early days.



This image was sketched in Pastel on Pastel Matt Board whilst using an amalgamation

of reference photographs, one of which was courtesy of


Maurice Schutgens





Framed, mounted and on dispaly at the Studio/Gallery

Frame Size 27 X 33 inches


Below is how I sketched this image in pastels


I chalked in the rough outline of the elephant and then added in Unison light blue 16 pastel for the sky tone


 I then added a suggestion of distant trees and bushes and worked on his right ear before I move across to his forehead

I'm currently working on the background bush.


I the moved onto his forehead and eyes and then starting to go down his trunk and onto his right tusk


 Gradually I worked on the details of the trunk, his broken right tusk and then his left ear.


Here I'm adding the shadow on the areas of folds on his ear before I move onto his larger tusk and then back legs


i"ve now added his longer tusk and have worked on his legs before I then move onto his rump and belly


The stomach is complete, as I now chalked in some dust. I've also added hills in the distance to give the image depth 


Here I'm still working on the little blemishes and nicks that are characteristic to One Ton


I still have few bits to do before I take it to be scanned and framed at Framers Gallery




I have continued to sketch as many of the big Tuskers as I am able to, with another beautiful big Tusker with

symetrical tusks called "Kamboyo" to add to my Big Tusker collection. He was named Kamboyo

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 now mounted, framed and on display at the Studio/Gallery

Frame Size 30 X 34 inches


How I sketched the above image


 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..


Scanned Image


To give you an indication of the size and beauty of these tusks, below is his skull and tusks with

some poachers bows and arrows to give them scale






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 framed and on display at the Studio/Gallery

Frame size 30 X 34 inches


How I sketched the above image


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 

Scanned Image



"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 39 inches


How I sketched the above image


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


 How I sketched the above image


 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


 How I sketched the above image


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