This is the third in my series of Ikh Nartiin Chuluu argali paintings that I recently completed. You can see the other two here and here.
I don’t think I ever drew or painted a sheep in my life until I decided to paint these, the world’s largest mountain sheep. They’ve been a challenge, first understanding their structure and form, since their legs are quite thin in relation to their bodies, very different than American bighorns, getting the proportions correct takes time and attention. Then really learning how to do the horns, for which spending a couple of afternoons at Ikh Nart this past August sketching horns that had been brought into the research camp was extremely helpful. Finally, understanding their behavior and getting good reference photos of them doing something interesting in good light with very limited time every year has taken patience, a good long lens and some luck. All three paintings are the result of one hour with five rams in 2010 and I have more than enough reference left for at least another half dozen paintings.