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"The Elephant and the Mouse" is a painting about strength, fear, friendship. and courage. Initially, it seems like just random grey spots. A second look reveals what's in the painting.
This detail, found at the bottom left of the painting, is "the mouse".
"The Elephant and the Mouse" pays homage to natural camouflage. In most nature photography, animals are shown distinct from the background to create striking images. In reality, most animals have adapted to blend in with their surroundings.
"The Elephant" is hard to see. Look at the vertical line of patches at the right edge of the painting. That's the trunk. Let your eyes relax, and the outline of the elephant's head seems to emerge. This is easier to see in the high resolution file (linked below).
While this looks like a monochrome grey painting, it actually has multiple colors of grey. There is a purple-grey, a red-grey, and a blue grey. Each shade was carefully mixed to create the right color.
It took Gavo multiple tries to get this painting right. On the first attempt, she drew a more realistic elephant. She decided that it wasn't the right direction, and repainted it a few times until she got the elephant right.
In animal photography, a combination of photographic skill and photo editing is used to make animals stand out from their backgrounds. Some animals, including male birds and poisonous frogs, do stand out in that way. But most animals have evolved to be nearly indistinguishable from their surroundings!
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