I have been planning this drawing for several months, but due to its size and complexity I did not feel I had the ability to start it until now. I've had this piece of gray matboard for years, from back when I actually had time to mat drawings myself. I thought how neat it would be to draw on it, but what could I draw that would take advantage of its huge size? It is twice the size of the coral reef - a full 30" x 30", the very largest I have ever attempted. I don't expect it to take as long, though, because charcoal goes much faster than colored pencil.
Anyway, I decided the gray background needed some animal that was both black and white, to utilize both black and white charcoal to make it pop out of the background. Thus was born the idea of the zebras. There are three remaining species of zebra, and I've always been fond of the more endangered one, the Grevy's zebra, so that it the one I chose. Their stripes are very narrow and close together (the large paper helps me get them all in), they have large ears, and their heads are larger in relation to their bodies than the other two species. (In fact, the Grevy's is so different they have been assigned their own subgenus.)
I have been working on these zebras for a few days already, as two little kittens play on my lap and chair. I'll show the full size of the drawing as it progresses.