Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Painting a Loggerhead Sea Turtle

It's often that while painting a subject that my mind wanders through the moments of first encounter.  In the case of this unfinished Loggerhead watercolor, I also couldn't help but wonder about the details of what I was sketching, specifically, the scales on the turtles' head, how they were arranged, what they were made of, whether they varied or were uniformly arranged in a species.  
My search led me to a familiar realization that I don't know a whole lot about some things, turtles being among them, especially sea turtles.  It was humbling to land on the US Fish and Wildlife/North Florida Ecological Service "Sea Turtle Quick Facts" page (link provided below) and begin reading the description of Loggerheads.  I understood the first sentence.  But in the next, I encountered carapace and plastron and as I read on, costal scutes, nuchal scute, inframarginal scutes and bridges.  I needed a turtle dictionary!   

Sketching and painting heightens my senses and deepens my curiosity, making me eager to learn more.   I'll share my recent experience with Loggerhead sea turtles at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Brevard County, Florida, in an upcoming post.  But for now, get ready by brushing up on your memory of turtle anatomy and the language used to describe it.      

Reference links:  
Sea Turtle Quick Facts, US Fish & Wildlife and North Florida Ecological Services
Introduction to Marine Turtles at Marine Science, an educational site created by a family of marine biologists
Sea Turtle Identification Key, a great two-page pdf with identifying characteristics and comparison of sea turtle species  

2 comments:

  1. I didn't realise they grew so big!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's looking good, Vickie!! It's great how you research the subject you're painting!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome! I am glad to hear your comments, questions and feedback! Vickie

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