Penguin Checking Egg

 

I bought some small canvases in error and am slowly trying to fill them in. The advantage of a small space is that you can fill it quickly and I painted this penguin quickly with few colours.

 

Emperor penguins are about 4 feet high and the tallest and heaviest of all the penguin species. They live to about 20 in the wild but some live into their forties. They can dive for about 18 minutes getting by on low oxygen levels and shutting down non-essential organ functions.

 

They walk 31Ė75 miles over the ice to breed. Before copulation one bird bows deeply to the other and its mate copies this. Both then endure drastic weight loss (the male eating nothing at all), -40C temperatures and 80 mph winds as they wait for one single egg. Giving birth to the egg can take three days. After laying the female is exhausted and she transfers the egg to the male without it touching the icy ground. If it lands on the ice the chick inside dies of cold. The female then goes to sea for much-needed food. All this is usually in vain as 80% of chicks die within their first year of life.

 

While painting this I was looking after a chumís beagle but he wasnít impressed with the end result.