Painted for the Werewolf calendar 2012!
Last winter I went whale watching and we came across a pod of killer whales. The sense of wonder I felt stayed with me, and when I was assigned swimming werewolves, I knew I wanted to show the connection and kinship between the wolves of the land and wolves of the sea. My first sketches showed a split of above and below view with some woofers swimming with orca fins cutting the surface of the water, among other things.
But then as I was looking for reference I kept seeing so many incredible shots of dogs underwater, and I was inspired to sketch this guy.
This fellow is out for a swim when an orca comes up and interacts with him. The werewolf reaches out to gently touch the orca as it swims by. The wolf does NOT want to harm the orca!
Created in Corel Painter X. My first serious try at total internal reflections and caustic light on fur...and floating fur as well. A lot of work went into this, from sculpting mock ups and using a mirror to figure out the reflection, to spending hours in the pool acting this out and staring at my hands under the shifting waves. I suppose the pool part wasn't so bad. ;3 I learned a lot, and would love to do better next time.
"Werewolves are capable swimmers in the wild, their powerful arm and leg muscles providing easy thrust in water. Swimming is both carried out as a recreational activity and out of necessity. Young werewolves are drawn to pools of water and enjoy long hours of leisurely frolic under parental supervision. Young adults and occasionally older adults will be seen joining in the play sessions. Beyond serving as a moral boost and social bonding exercise, swimming also aids in removing land-born parasites from the thick coats of werewolves, cooling in hot summer months and valuable skill training for young werewolves. During play sessions, young werewolves may practice fishing skills or endurance swimming. During floods or times of scarce food, werewolves may be required to traverse wide expanses of water to reach fresh territory. Hence these jovial play sessions serve as important life lessons as well."