Its been rather quiet over here over the last couple of weeks- been feeling a bit unmotivated to make anything- especially since my scientific illustration course finished- so haven’t been posting. BUT I finally got the idea to do this little illustration of a Maui’s dolphin, and actually managed to FINISH it, which happens rarely. I actually did it twice- the first time the watercolour paper (Hahnmuhle watercolour 300gsm) I was using crapped out (won’t be using that again for watercolour!), and so I decided to re do it, second time without a background (and on my so-far-favourite- HP Fabriano 5 watercolour paper). There definitely is a benefit to doing a drawing twice!
Round 2 attempt:
And the final scan:
I was inspired to do this painting because World Ocean Day (on June 8th) and the campaign that WWF NZ is running, called the Last 55. It is estimated that there are only 55 Maui’s dolphins over the age of 1 year left- making them the rarest dolphin in the world (they are also the smallest dolphin in the world!). They are a sub species of the Hectors dolphin, which is found mostly in the South Island of NZ- however the Mauis dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) is found on the west coast of the North Island (hence ‘Maui’s’, as te- Ika-a-Maui is the Maori name of the North Island)- they are NZ’s only endemic cetaceans. As they prefer shallow water, they are threatened by the fishing industry (set-net fishing and trawling), as well as ghost nets and other rubbish, and (to a lesser extent) diseases such as toxoplasmosis (which it is believed enters waterways via storm water runoff).
You can sign the WWF petition to help save the Mauis dolphin here (they are aiming to hit 55,000 signatures before the national elections at the end of this year), and if you have seen a Maui’s dolphin- report your sightings here to add to the national record. If you are interested in reading more- here is a recent article in the NZ Herald and some info from the excellent charity Project Jonah.
I’m thinking of selling some prints or cards of this illustration to with proceeds to go to one of the whale charities- would anyone be interested??
Have a great weekend,