Free Illustrated Guide: How to Paint Watercolor Whales

Learn how to use watercolors and textures to accurately paint orca, blue, and humpback whales with three visual guides

From its picturesque skylines to the vast aquatic world beneath its surface, the ocean is an infinite source of inspiration for creatives.

Naturalist illustrator Antonia Reyes (@antoniapajarito) is fascinated by the ocean, and especially one of the most breathtaking underwater dwellers: whales. She's dedicated part of her work to illustrating these magical creatures, known for communicating through song and their regal presence.

Here, Antonia shares three step-by-step guides for painting these majestic mammals. The guides will help you brush up on your knowledge of whales, explore drawing and watercolor techniques, and add a bit of experimentation to your illustration process.

Examples of Antonia Reyes naturalist illustrations.

Orca, blue, and humpback whales

Ready to get started in nature illustration? In the illustrated resources, Antonia shares tips for painting three different types of whales: orcas, blue, and humpback whales.

Orcas are relatively small cetaceans that belong to the group of toothed whales. They have pretty simple, round shapes, smooth skin with practically no texture, and just black and white coloring, so Antonia considers them ideal for beginners and a first stepping stone towards a good representation of light and volume for a three-dimensional effect.

Next up, blue whales: while the blue whale is, in fact, blue, Antonia takes you to a deeper look into the depiction of the unique colors and spots of the world’s largest mammal, introducing the use of masking fluid to recreate patterns.

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In her Domestika course, Antonia explores the unique colors and spots of the world’s largest mammal—the blue whale.

Last but not least, she shares a guide for the humpback whale. The humpback whale stands out for so many reasons, for example: for its acrobatic movements, complex singing, and its unique skin markings and textures, to name a few.

Learn how to recreate this species's magnificent features by using a more experimental and playful technique in watercolor: the addition of sea salt over wet pigment. This procedure will turn your washes into more defined markings that may properly represent callosities.

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Orca whale, by Antonia Reyes.

After clicking on the button below, you'll find PDF in the Downloads folder on your computer titled, Illustrated Guide: How to Paint Whales with Watercolor, by Antonia Reyes.

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This download will only be available until December 21, 2021. If you want to access the material after that date, you can sign up for Antonia Reyes’s course, Naturalist Illustration Techniques: Whales in Watercolor, in which you'll dive into an ocean of watercolor and learn how to illustrate a majestic sea creature by exploring drawing and painting techniques.

You may also like:

- 5 Free Watercolor Tutorials to Improve Your Technique
- 5 Online Watercolor Courses for Learning Different Styles
- 435 Free Bird Watercolors from the 19th Century
- Artistic Watercolor Techniques for Illustrating Birds, course by Sarah Stokes
- Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners, course by Laura McKendry


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