Painting Dolphins

As promised, in my previous blog about whales (read here), this art blog is going to be about painting dolphins.  As I explained in the ‘Why you have to love whales’ blog – I live in Cape Town and am privileged to see these beautiful mammals expressing their joyous souls on a regular basis.

I have not, sadly, swum with them (yet) – as was the case with the whale – but I have seen pods of dolphins in the False Bay area and what a sight and fuel for inspiration they are!

I have no fantastic tales (or tails) to regale with today so I am simply going to stick to the technical aspects of painting underwater scenes…

The technical side of painting underwater (and no, not physically!)

Dolphins - Cherie Dirksen original paintingPainting underwater scenes are quite involved as they require a lot of layering.  This ‘wash’ of blue that needs to be repeated until the desired effect is achieved, needs time and patience…and I paint in acrylics – for those who paint in oils the process takes even longer as the drying time is slower.

  1. The first layer consists of getting the basic blue background started – then I apply the subject matter.
  2. When that is done the watered-down blue paint wash layering begins until the right monotone colour is produced and ready to go out into the world.
  3. The most rewarding part of this journey is in the varnishing.  As soon as you apply that coat of gloss varnish the painting comes alive and the water looks wet again (like it does when the paint is first set to canvas).

Magnifique!

Perhaps this can give you a better appreciation of how much time and effort (or in some cases, curses and tears) goes into these deceptively tricky aquatic scenes.

Inspiration

With every work of art comes the inspiration behind it.  With this painting, as with the whale painting, I have put it down in the form of a poem.

The Poem 

‘Dolphins – The Spirit of Freedom’

You never let us forget how to love
How to laugh
How to smile
How to be light-hearted

You never let us forget how to be
In the moment
In this space
In this time

You never let us forget about beauty
About simplicity
About friendship
About sincerity

You never let us forget about fun
Being in the heart
Playing with each other
Soaking up the bliss

You never let us forget why we love you so
Why we feel connected
Why you are important
Why you are here

You never let us forget
Who we are
Why we are
When we are

Please never let us forget

If you also have an affinity for dolphins and would like to splash out and have this original painting gracing your wall – click here for details.  I also have a wide variety of products to choose from with this specific dolphin design – for prints, posters and greeting cards click here, for gift ideas click here.

For those of you who still need convincing about how wonderful dolphins are, please do yourself a favour and watch this incredible short video – your heart will melt…go on, you know you want to. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Painting Dolphins

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  2. Pingback: Why You’ve Got to Love Whales (and Paint Them!) | Cherie Roe Dirksen

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