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Where the water meets the sky



Title by xSkyeCrystalx

Species depicted: Northern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) and Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)
Time taken: ~10-15 hours
References used:…………
Tools of the trade: Photoshop CS5

Well, here it is, finally! A mixed pod of both Northern right whale dolphins as well as Pacific white-sided dolphins breaking the glassy smooth surface during sunrise. I've wached the amazing movie 'Life of Pi' some time ago (it was really good, especially given the book was so detailed and difficult to put down in images) and was especially amazed by the scene where Pi wakes up in the morning and the ocean is simply one big mirror, perfectly reflecting the gorgeous sky above. Inspired, I decided to paint something like it - only then without the clouds as I kinda suck at those. The mini contest for the Northern right whale dolphin over at Exp-Marine-Mammals was drawing in near, and it struck me how (ant)arctic cetaceans especially are almost exclusively portrayed in grey or blue scenes. I wanted to flip that view all around and after some googling my suspicions were confirmed: sunrises over Japan, Alaska and the rest of the cold north can be just as orange and spectacular as anywhere else. Thus, this painting was born! It was a real challenge to say the least, mainly the splashes made me go crazy so in the end I just went with the fantastically helpful water splash brushes by FrostBo (I forgot which one it was, he's got several) and cut and modified them along the way where needed.

This painting is in part also dedicated to SkyebobPiepants who wrote in a journal her favourite cetacean artists had either gone inactive or started drawing 'boring' stuff. I hope this'll inspire you a little bit! :D

On a different note, it is quite interesting that both the Northern- as the well as the Southern right whale dolphin closely associate with a species of lagenorhynchus dolphins they share their range with. Whilst the Southerners come together with Dusky dolphins - and even interbreed! - the Northerners are very often seen with Pacific white-sided dolphins. Why would they do this? I know that there has been a proposed new taxonomy of the lagenorhynchus genus in which the Duskies and the Pacific white-sided dolphins would be placed together with Peale's in the genus of Sagmatias, but that is based on the idea these dolphins are more closely related to the cephalorhynchus dolphins. Does anyone know the reason for this Lagenorhynchus/Lissodelphis 'friendship'?

All submissions in this gallery, be it photos, paintings or drawings, are copyrighted to me, Namu-the-orca. No one has the right to alter, distribute, copy or use my art without my written permission unless stated otherwise. My submissions are NOT stock
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Aquila200's avatar
Thsi is just stunning! I love the fiery sunset colours, and the energy of the leaping dolphins! :D

I didn't know that North Right Whale Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins are often seen together, or that Southern Right Whale Dolphins often associate with Dusky Dolphins; thanks for that really fascinating info!