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Meeting a Cuvier's by namu-the-orca Meeting a Cuvier's by namu-the-orca
Species depicted: Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)
Time taken: ~5-6 hours
References used: none specifically
Tools of the trade: Photoshop CS5


A young Atlantic spotted dolphin comes face to face with a Cuvier's beaked whale - at almost 7 metres and three times her own length, it's quite a sight to behold for the little dolphin:

"A light shape first appeared as a spectre many metres below, gaining clarity only as it ascended through the water column.
A Cuvier’s beaked whale. He rose in absolute dead silence, seemingly without even having to flick his tail. It was as if unknown
forces simply carried him up. The whale’s size was what perhaps astounded her the most, yet showed no intent to harm her.
The beaked whale quietly broke the surface, expelling an almost two-hour held breath and taking in new gulps of air. His left
eye went over her sleek, spotted body and in turn she looked at his battle-scared sides. At the tip of his curved beak, two little
teeth broke through the gums and it left her in little doubt that this gentle giant also had a more aggressive side. Unwittingly
she’d drifted closer to the rare visitor and eventually they lay almost side-to-side when the whale decided it was time to leave
again. One last, deep breath marked his exit as his body suddenly came to life. Muscles tightened, a huge pair of flukes moved
through the water and the sheer force of his movements were more than felt through the turbulence.

He sunk back to the ocean floor, disappearing without a trace."


Just something that came to mind and got whipped up in a (for me) short period of time. I've been very fond of Cuvier's beaked whales for a very long time; there's something about those
oddly smiling faces and wonderful markings that I love. Also, their faces are pretty easy to get right (certainly helps when you're trying to draw one). Atlantic spotted dolphins are a
species that will inevitably end up looking like a bottlenose dolphin when I doodle them freely, and come out well rather easily with some photos haha. 



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All submissions in this gallery, be it photos, paintings or drawings, are copyrighted to me, Namu-the-orca. No one has the right to alter, distribute, copy or use my art without my written permission unless stated otherwise. My submissions are NOT stock
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner May 30, 2015
Beaked whales need more love.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 30, 2015
They certainly do!
Reply
:icontraheripteryx:
Traheripteryx Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
So wonderful to see these two amazing species together! :D
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015
Thanks! I thought it was an interesting idea as well - not often different species are mixed together, let alone anything with beaked whales. Then again, meetings like this must be exceedingly rare... but could be possible :D
Reply
:iconbestiarius:
Bestiarius Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thatīs really a very nice composition!
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconaltair75:
Altair75 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014   Photographer
Everything on this painting has a beautiful deep blue color. I love it!
The backstory is so great! There's no way that I could do likewise! You have such an impressive imagination! :D (Big Grin) 

Great work of behalf of you! Clap
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thanks so much! Colours are something I tend to use rather sparsely; usually it takes a photo for me to realise the true amount of colour that should be used. Glad you like the vibrant blues it resulted in :D Also really happy to hear the story made for a nice read :aww:
Reply
:iconaltair75:
Altair75 Featured By Owner May 1, 2014   Photographer
My pleasure! :D (Big Grin)
Reply
:iconebonenee:
Ebonenee Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is beyond beautiful! I don't know, but you've captured such a remarkable atmosphere. Perhaps it's that intense stare the two are sharing, or the lovely hues of blue that are used. Regardless, this is fantastic and I'm so glad someone's given some well deserved love to the Cuvier's beaked whale :heart:
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Barghh thanks so much Ebony! Little details like their eyes really can make a huge difference in a piece; good luck for me to have at least one species in here with very expressive eyes. Cuvier's and their beaked kin indeed deserve lots more attention and love, I'm glad to have given some of it here :love:
Reply
:iconknight-tactus:
Knight-Tactus Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
Knowing that the Cuviers Beaked whale can dive to depths of 6000m I like the idea of him just returned from a dive to gather another breath of air. Just imagining the whales solitary ascent coinciding with the passing of another beautiful cetacean is awesome.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
It's indeed amazing how deep they can dive and how long they can hold their breath - I'd heard the news about their breaking of the deep-diving record shortly before painting this piece, so it definitely helped inspire the little scenario! I can imagine a Cuvier's beaked whale's life to be a rather lonely one indeed, loved working the idea of a meeting out here.
Reply
:iconknight-tactus:
Knight-Tactus Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
My apologies I misspoke about the depth of a dive. I meant 6000ft not meters
Reply
:iconitsgoose2u:
Itsgoose2u Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, this is gorgeous Namu. And the little story that went with it was perfect. He's a very astonishing creature, indeed.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thanks so much, Goose! Glad you enjoyed the little story as well :D Cuvier's (and all other beaked whales) sure are fantastic creatures; a real shame we know so little about them yet!
Reply
:iconitsgoose2u:
Itsgoose2u Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They look so amazing, I'll have to read up on what we do know about them. :)
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 2, 2014
Have fun with that :) One thing I can tell you about this species very specifically, is that the Cuvier's beaked whale recently broke the diving record for mammals. One tagged individual dove almost 3000 metres down, staying under for over an hour!
Reply
:iconrmctagg09:
rmctagg09 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015
I was reading that the record was about two hours and 10 minutes. 
Reply
:iconitsgoose2u:
Itsgoose2u Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's amazing! I think I read something about that recently, it's so incredible.
Reply
:iconravenfire5:
Ravenfire5 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
really nice pic :)
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thank you :aww:
Reply
:iconravenfire5:
Ravenfire5 Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
ur welcome :)
Reply
:iconselenethewerewolf:
SeleneTheWerewolf Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
This is gorgeous, and love the little story <3
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thank you so much! Glad to hear you liked the story as well :love:
Reply
:iconmisted-dream:
Misted-Dream Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh awesome! Really stunning painting from you. :aww: I've been working on some sketches of common dolphins lately, so this is very much inspiring.
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thanks! :heart: I'm really curious about that painting of yours - cetaceans are quite different from your usual subjects :D
Reply
:iconmisted-dream:
Misted-Dream Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome! Ah, thank you. :) They're so much fun to paint/draw, so I don't know why I haven't done more of them.
Reply
:iconfantreasureplanetljs:
fantreasureplanetljs Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Student General Artist
:iconclappingraccoonplz: :iconchuuplz: Lovely! :D
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thankies! :heart: 
Reply
:iconfantreasureplanetljs:
fantreasureplanetljs Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Student General Artist
:iconchuuuplz: Welcome!
Reply
:iconoracle88:
Oracle88 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing as always! I love the colours you have chosen to use and their faces are just gorgeous! Keep it up, I would really love to see more :)
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
Thanks so much :D I always tend to be a bit flat on colours myself, so it's always helpful to have some photos on hand to add that extra splash of colour in there - in this case really helping with the mood. Already working on a new cetacean piece ;)
Reply
:iconoracle88:
Oracle88 Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah I am the same when it comes to colouring. Colouring and chosing what colours to use is always the hardest part.
I am looking forward to seeing your next cetacean artwork :)
I am working on a few artworks at the moment. And when it's whale watching season I will be uploading more photos than art :XD:
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
Ohh, would be awesome to see a new piece from you again! :D Your latest with the killers was very lovely :aww: I'm also cooking up some more art, one of which is a remake of an old painting so that's always fun haha XD
Reply
:iconoracle88:
Oracle88 Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah I am working on getting one finished haha. Oh yeah there are a few things I need to fix about that killer whales artwork, one of the orca just isn't right to me. I'm thinking of adding another orca too. 
I am keen to see your new artwork :) I am also remaking some of my old paintings too, I am going to be remaking my 'Harmony' painting. At the moment I am working on a painting of Atlantic spotted dolphins. It is taking me forever to finish haha.
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