Whale Illustration Basics

Understanding the “basic” whale will help you identify and sketch whales in the field. To help you do this, study the whale form below the water. Some portion of this form is exposed when the whale surfaces. To help you understand the whale structure, we will draw four baleen whales found of the California coast. By comparing the similarities and differences between these whales, you can get an idea of the typical whale form and where to look for differences between species. From top to bottom the species being illustrated are the Minke, Blue, Humpback, and Gray Whales.

Click on the first image to start a step-by-step side-show.