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Drawing dolphins with colored pencils

Updated on August 17, 2012

Drawing is my favorite hobby. I can spend hours drawing anything in one day. Among a lot of drawings that I made, there is one that attracts the attention of my friends. It is the drawing of two dolphins swimming at sea. To draw dolphins, we need to know how they look like. The best thing will be going to the sea. You can hire a boat and ask the boat owner to places where you can find or sea dolphins. Because, drawing the dolphins directly is impossible due to the movement of the fish that cannot be stopped, you need to record them using your video camera recorder or digital photo camera. In addition, you need to zoom up the pictures to get clearer view of the fish.


Colored Pencil Drawing by Charles Roring
Colored Pencil Drawing by Charles Roring

You might say, "well I live far from the beach and it is impossible for you to see dolphins directly in their original habitat."
Today, there are a lot of TV stations that broadcast programs about marine environment. Some episodes will be about dolphins. If you cannot watch dolphins from the cable TV that you subscribe, you can find a lot of videos of dolphins swimming at sea on the internet. Try Youtube, you will get many of them.
You can also use Google to find pictures of dolphin.
Back to the topic of this hub which is how to draw dolphins. After you get the picture, don't be hurry in drawing the fish. First, study the contour or form of the fish and the sea surface. Professional artists can draw an object immediately after seeing the object that they want to draw but if you are still a beginner, you need to absorb the form or contour of the dolphins into your brain before you pour it onto your drawing paper. I took at least two days to finish the colored pencil drawing of dolphins above.
My media in creating artworks is watercolor pencils. I use Derwent 72 Watercolor whereas for the paper I use Canson (the acid free and cold press paper whose weight is 200 gsm). You can use paper with rough surface or more grain but if you are still studying how to master drawing using watercolor pencils then I will suggest that you start with small sized paper.
Draw the outer form of the dolphins and the sea. The coloring of the surface of the sea should be done in different layers. When you finished sketching the dolphins and the sea with its waves and ripples, you can color it. Don't be intimidated by the complexity of the details of the photograph that you want to draw. Just focus on vocal points. If you don't know, what vocal points are, I suggest that you find an article about vocal points in drawing techniques. Most experienced artists begin drawing by studying the vocal points of the objects that they want to draw or paint. After drawing the vocal points and correcting their proportion of the sketch, they can go deeper into the details of the objects.
Drawing dolphins swimming at sea can also be done using the same techniques.

  • First, study the photograph of the dolphins and the sea
  • Second, identify the vocal points.
  • Third, draw the sketch of the vocal points on the paper using graphite pencil
  • Fourth, After vocal points have been sketched and their proportions corrected, draw the details of the sea and the fish
  • Fifth, Color it using watercolor pencils or other media that you like
  • Sixth, make any necessary correction and some more details.

My drawing that you see above is not with me now. It belongs to Grietje Blom a traveler who visited Manokwari (my home town) in early 2010. I gave it to her as a souvenir and symbol of friendship.

If your first drawing does not look good, don't give up. By practicing regularly, you can make great artworks. by Charles Roring

Also read: Drawing Birds


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