By Thomas Maxwell
Gibraltar enjoys not only unique wildlife on land, but also due to its location has a wide range of exotic maritime wildlife. In an ever-changing world it is important today as much as throughout history that we support and protect our local maritime wildlife and seas. To celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8th, we will be drawing a jellyfish, which can be drawn by everyone of all levels! Did you know that jellyfish are reportedly the oldest known multicellular animal on the planet? Some fossils have been found to be over 500 million years old!
Draw a rectangle that’s 9cm by 5cm, this will act as the body of the jellyfish. Then, draw an arch on the top to round off the body. Draw another arch parallel to the top at roughly 4cm down into this rectangle. Connect the two arches at the corners to give the 3D effect of the body of the Jellyfish. Every 0.5cm draw some lines that curve to the left, middle and right across the body. This will create a skin like effect on the jellyfish and will help with the darkening. Draw some tentacles down around 12cm in length, with the longer ones in the middle. Be free when drawing the tentacles and don’t focus too much, just let the pencil fall on the page!
Start shading the darker areas of the image with a Parker Sonnet fountain pen. You don’t want to start with the darker pencils as you won’t be able to go back and by building up your shadow, it will create a smoother texture and a better 3D effect. The key to preparing the jellyfish’s body is by creating small, shaded triangles in a Christmas tree like formation down to about two thirds of the way down. Around the bottom of the body shade darker as well as the bottom of the curved lines, to create a denser shadow for later. Layer the body as seen in the photo.
The key to creating a defined drawing is by using the rubber to remove some small parts of the jellyfish’s body. You can shape the rubber to represent a pencil end or use a shaping rubber that can be picked up at the various art shops in Gibraltar. Space out the rubber marks on the body to create a lighting effect on the body. Also, around the curved lines, leave some light areas so that the body doesn’t look too dark and the image looks more realistic with light and dark tones. Lightly brush the dark areas and fill some areas with the HB pencil to create a smoother texture.
Finish the jellyfish by continuing to darken the shadow areas with the 6B pencil, be careful when doing this as this is the darkest pencil and is very hard to remove once on the paper! Use the rubber to clear up some light places to better define the jellyfish. Try not to darken all the tentacle so that you can see some lighter areas. Keep lightly brushing the darker areas to create a smoother area. TIP don’t press too hard as now we have darker pencils, it can smudge and ruin the piece! Keep building up slowly and rub the lighter areas and you have finished!
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