One of the characters in Two Young Captains is a mean shark named “Old Crooked Tooth.” Today I decided to do a couple studies of sharks. Once again, I started with a Google image search for sharks.
One of the Google suggestions for refining my search was sharks eating people. Although that particular category didn’t have any images to help me out, it did have a number of, shall we say, “interesting” Photoshop-ed pictures of people getting eaten by sharks.
With that little distraction satisfied, I went back to other shark picture categories and finally settled on these two pictures.
Both pictures showed great white sharks in their terrible majesty. Both of them gave me a slight shudder of fear when I looked at them. All those teeth!
One advantage to drawing animals over people is the fact that you don’t have to be that accurate in order to make it representational. When drawing people, you often have to make them look a particular person. Even if you are just drawing a made-up cartoon person, you have to be consistent enough for readers to recognize them as individuals.
When drawing these sharks, however, I did not have to make this shark look like any particular individual shark. As long as it had the basic parts in the right places, readers will be able to understand that it is a shark.
There is one aspect of both drawings that I did struggle with, however: spraying water. In both pictures, as you might expect from its habitat, involved drawing water. The water gives the sharks context and perspective. Spraying water can be difficult with a pencil and paper because the spray and the waves are typically white. This meant I had to draw the negative spaces on these drawings.
I ended up compromising with a bunch of squiggly lines representing the shark obscured by its spray.
I am still looking for a good technique for drawing ocean sprays and such. If you have any good suggestions, please feel free to post a comment and let me know!