Draw Your Own Whale

Cape Cod National Seashore's proximity to the ocean allows for amazing whale watching. Numerous different species can be seen, like the North Atlantic right whale and humpback whale.

Whale populations were decimated due to over whaling in the mid 1800's. Whales were killed for their blubber, which was refined into oil, a profitable business during that time period.

Today, visitors flock to Cape Cod National Seashore in order to get a glimpse of these large mammals. Learn about whales at Cape Cod, while also learning to draw your own!

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Hey guys, my name is ranger Olivia and we're at Cape Cod National Seashore. We've got salt pond behind us and we've got a nice sunny day. Today we're going to be learning about one of the biggest animals that we have here at Cape Cod National Seashore. They're bigger than a school bus they can weigh 40 tons and need about 3000 pounds of food a day. We're going to be talking about whales. There are two main types of whales, whales with teeth such as oracle whales and sperm whales and then there's also whales with baleen. Those are the whales we have here at Cape Cod National Seashore. Baleen is the way that these whales eat, what they'll do is they'll come up from the bottom of the water and take a big gulp and then the baleen will strain out the tiny tiny fish that they eat such as krill and sand lance. The baleen acts as a strainer almost like a spaghetti strainer to help them keep the small fish but let all that salt water out. One of the most common types of whales we have here at Cape Cod National Seashore are humpback whales, these whales have baleen. One of the most unique parts of humpback whales is that they use sound and songs to communicate with each other. Underwater they make noises that we refer to as songs and we believe they're used for them to communicate but we're still trying to figure that out. Another really cool aspect about humpback whales is their flukes their flukes are their tails. On the underside of their tails they have unique markings that scientists are able to help identify one whale to another for example this whale is named Pinball because it has small circles along its fluke. And this whale is named Nile because of this uh long stripe on the left side that kind of resembles the Nile river in Africa because scientists are able to identify whale to whale they're able to then research them as well they can see when they have calves and if they return to Cape Cod every year. Another type of whale we have here are fin whales or finback whales, these whales can be up to 60 feet long and are the second largest whale in the world. Finback whales are long and slender. One other type of whale we have here are Right whales, Right whales can be seen in Cape Cod Bay in the late spring and there's only about 440 of these right whales left that's because in the 17, 18, and 1900s whales were hunted to near extinction for their meat, whale bones, and their blubber which was processed into an oil that people used for light. Whale populations were decimated but they are slowly beginning to come back after they've been protected. Some types of whales faced extinction like the right whales and they even face modern challenges today such as boat collisions marine debris that they can get caught in and pollution but it's up to all of us to help these amazing amazing animals that call Cape Cod home survive into the future, my name is ranger Olivia and thank you again for joining me. Now that we've learned a little bit about whales we're going to do a how-to drawing on a humpback whale, so just follow along we're going step by step, grab a piece of paper and a pencil. I'm with my friend Laura here today she's going to be joining me in this how-to video. So we're going to start with our water line about two-thirds the way up the paper so grab your pencil, pencils are great so you can erase if you need to, but again no one's perfect so we're gonna make our water line go over the line a couple times to give it a watery look. Yeah just like that, perfect. And we're going to start with our first whale which is going to be on the left hand side here, so we're going to do a almost like a slide at a playground. So it's kind of kind of crop at the end yeah just like that awesome. And then we're going to kind of continue it down, so a slope and then some ridges there, yeah just like that awesome. And then we're going to go just about to the bottom of the paper with the sloped curve, and that's going to be the whale's nose right at the end there. And then it's not going to be a point but it's going to be a kind of a sharp change in direction there heading up. We're going to stop about a third of the way and we're going to make a flipper, so humpback whales are known for their big fins on the side, so we're going to make a big flipper there just like Laura's doing on the right side there, awesome, looks great. So we're going to continue up behind the flipper to give it that 3D look, yeah, just like that. And that's going to go up to the water well over here we're going to make the second flipper behind the whale so make sure to do it behind those lines there to give it that 3D look. Yeah, Laura that looks great. We're doing great. Feel free to pause the video at any time if you need to. So we're going to continue the whale tail up above the water we're going to make the fluke now, so we learned all about flukes and that's going to be kind of a wing up there and then we're going to do the other side just the same. Awesome, yep, yeah, looks great. So it's gonna start narrow and bow out and come to the center. So it's gonna start narrow and then come out back to the center, yeah, just like that. So start narrow come back and then to a point in the middle there and again every whale is different so it's okay if your fluke looks a little different than your friends or from me and Laura's. But it's all right every whale is unique in its own way. So we're gonna make his eyeball right down down there, so it's gonna be pretty close to to the bottom and you can fill in just like that. Great, and now we're gonna make his mouth and the area that expands when he takes a big gulp so it's going to go come up, and then go make that go underneath their eye there. We're going to continue the line, to go under the flipper, to give it that 3d look again. And then because this area on a whale expands it's almost like an accordion. So we're going to so let's continue that just under the flipper, there we go. Awesome. To give it that 3d look and then we're going to make parallel lines to that line we made under the eye. This is what expands when the whales feed. Yeah just like that so it's like an accordion that's going to expand so these are going to be parallel lines to each other and depending on how wide you make them you may only be able to fit one or multiple so again there's no perfect way to do this. I make little tiny marks right by the eyes to give them some some expression so this way it looks good. So let's make a baby whale that we call a calf so let's go to the right side of our paper and follow the your writing utensil along the water line. We're going to make a loop it's going to start narrow and get wider. So follow the water line make a loop and then have it come wider toward the right side. I'm going to continue mine a little bit and then we'll make a flipper. So same thing just like our other one, the flipper is going to be pretty big. And, yeah, nice, and then we're gonna give it the 3d look by making the flipper on the other side, um go behind that flipper. Yeah, awesome, and then it's going to start wide and then get narrow again. Because the whales get pretty narrow by their tail area so and then we're gonna have the tail come down into the water. Mine looks a little weird here, but again every whale is unique and there's no correct way to do this. So and then get the other side of its um the beginning of its tail, then we'll make the fluke right at the end there, so again make it kind of narrow at the end and then it'll come toward the center just like that. Awesome.

Great and Laura's gonna do the other side there, awesome, good job Laura. And so then we're gonna add the eye just like our other one. Make a pretty big eye and then, we're going to make uh those lines for its mouth. So that's gonna kind of come up above and then go right underneath the eye. So we're gonna start high and then go low underneath the flipper if you can if it ends earlier that's fine too. And again we'll do those parallel lines to make it look like that accordion um a mouth that the whales have that expands when it feeds. Awesome, so we have the general shape let's make a blowhole because that was right at the top there and whales uh need air to breathe just like we do so they come up to the surface, and we'll make a blowhole and it's spout that we can sometimes see from shore in Provincetown. Yeah, just like that. And then humpback whales are named because they have um bumps along their nose and along the back of their body. I made a little dorsal fin there sticking up out of the water and then we'll give the whale some unique markings, so some markings on its flippers and then you can see I did the little bumps by its nose and then I'll also do them by the tail. Laura, yeah, Laura's doing that great, giving them little bumps that that humpback whales have. And then we can give unique markings to our bigger whale too, so we can give them those little bumps along the nose, and then around its body, they also sometimes will get barnacles growing on them, so it could be that as well. I'm going to put some unique markings on the flippers this time too. And again there's no right way to do this, every whale is unique and so because we're in the water i'm going to draw some air bubbles to make it look more realistic as a water scene. So this looks great, again feel free to pause this at any time if you need to. Yeah so let's add some air bubbles, kind of floating up to the surface, that looks great

And of course after you're done drawing you can use crayons or markers to color this in more, to make it look even more realistic.

And then let's go to the sky, so I'm going to add some seagulls in the sky. So to draw those we'll start with a little v, and then we'll come up and then flick it right at the end there. So draw v come up and then flick it at the end. You can make these as big or small as you want. So start with the v come up and then flick at the end. Little v come up and around and flick. Nice, awesome, and I'll make some small ones over here you can make as many or as little as you want to. Of course you can color this once you're done as well. I'm sure your whales look awesome, thank you again for joining me for this fun craft, I'll see you next time.

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11 minutes

Join ranger Olivia to learn about whales at Cape Cod National Seashore, while also learning to draw your own whale.

Materials needed:
Pen, pencil or marker

For information about historic whaling and Captain Penniman's historic house.
For more activities at home

Last updated: April 14, 2022

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