The dolphin pod

The movement patterns of dolphins has always inspired illustration for me. The changing lines from upward to downward motions intercepted by sharp distinct dorsal fins is undeniably stunning.

When creating ‘The Pod’, I experimented mostly with different compositions. Playing videos of dolphins swimming, pausing and drawing the changing body shapes; I needed to learn how to capture the magic of their movement in a drawing.

I realise this magic comes from the differing areas of tension and relaxation in the dolphins upper tail. Generally the tail end stays quite rigid, and in an illustration, it is represented in a very consistent way. It’s the strength and control of the upper tail which holds the tension, direction and power. This is where my lines vary.

After a vast number of illustrations, I was ready to sculpt. With a deeper knowledge of which lines were needed to convey muscle activation, tension and direction, I created each individual dolphin sculpture.