African Wild Dogs have amazing markings unique to each dog, as well as a huge pair of bat-like ears! I have drawn this portrait using my usual Faber-Castell polychromos coloured pencils, capturing a striking face-on portrait, referencing a beautiful photograph by @bella_londres. The eyes are always a favourite part of mine to draw or paint in a portrait as they can capture so much. These eyes stare straight ahead at the viewer; I love how this gives the effect that there is life behind them and you can’t escape their gaze.
Sadly these beautiful animals have been endangered for over twenty years, with an estimated population of only 6,600 remaining in the wild. The Latin or scinetific name for the wild dog is Lycaon pictus, but they also go by several other names, referred to as the hunting dog or African painted dog. They live in very social packs and work as a team to hunt, take care of the wounded, sick and elderly members and are all involved in the welfare of their pups.
Their population is decreasing due to human conflict and habitat fragmentation. Throughout Africa, wild dogs have been shot and poisoned by farmers who often blame them when a leopard or hyena kills livestock. As human populations expand, leading to agriculture, settlements, and roads, wild dogs are losing the spaces in which they were once able to roam freely.