Oceanic White Tip Shark, Carcharhinus longimani and Pilot Fish, Naucrates ductor

Description

The oceanic white tip shark is widely known for being a feared predator. However, like all sharks, they are amazing creatures and bestow a beauty in the world that is sadly too often misunderstood.This particular species is one of the bigger sharks that diets on larger bony fish and really eat almost anything it can find. It is a solitary swimmer, rarely found with others of its type, except when large amounts of food are available when they converge to feed. They have a very distinct large and rounded dorsal fin and rounded snout. They are usually accompanied by pilot fish with which they have a peaceful relationship. These are not ‘cleaner’ fish but scavengers that rely on the shark for guidance to food destinations. The majesty and power of these sharks is both mesmerizing and humbling.

Process

Shark skin is made up of denticles, not scales, which do not reflect light in the same way. In fact, denticles seem to absorb light due to its matte quality. Scratchboard (a clay covered board) seemed like the perfect medium for this illustration. After a lot of research (and a lot of ‘Youtube’) I finally decided on an inquisitive but passive pose. I blocked out most of the shape on the scratchboard with ink and then used a diamond shaped point to create the image with dots. The entire piece was done using the same method, just lessening or increasing the repetitiveness depending on how much I wanted to remove. After poking the ink surface with the point, I used a flat edge to lightly scrape off loose material. Whilst this is a time consuming process, it would be very difficult to create this effect any other way.