DAY 14 The International Scott Centenary Expedition Commemorative Map.

Weddell Seals and Killer Whales today.  I wanted to put the seal near the Weddell sea, plus I wanted it on ice as from my research I found there was sea ice around the Weddell Sea.

whales hunting a seal

Initially I was going to have the whales hunting and creating a huge wave which they do to dislodge the seal, however when I looked at the composition as a whole I thought it was too much and I wanted to balance the vertical lines of the ship in the lower left hand corner and also invert the shape of the diving penguins at the bottom right hand corner. Additionally,  I recall watching an episode of Frozen Planet on the BBC (my favourite show at the moment) where the whales rose to look at the camera men, I believe this is the image they have used on front of the book. I loved that image and decided it encapsulated  the character of the whales  so well. Plus it was my tip of the hat to those brave cameramen and their skill.

whales ‘eyeing’ their prey
I spent time this morning researching whales and could I find a close up of their eyes? No. 
Then I researched Weddell seals. Did you know they have no external ears?
I looked at old drawings …

old drawing of a Weddell seal off the Orkneys.


I studied their shape and character.

Then I came across a photo at the Scott Polar Institute of a Weddell seal which I liked the shape of, but it was facing the wrong way. So I drew it the other way round and had to add detail from other pictures because there were none that were positioned like this to copy.

I wanted the seal more to the right than it is because of the whales’ eye-line but for aesthetic reasons this was not feasible.

Day 14. The sea and ice will be added tomorrow.

You may be wondering why I haven’t started the sea yet, The reason for this is I need to see how all the creatures affect the water around them in order to join the oceans and seas up. Not only that, I don’t want to be leaning over it as I work and  marking it at all. So the sea will be one of the last things I do.

Full photo of the map day 14


Tomorrow the ice, penguins and a sextant, and more rope!








2 thoughts on “DAY 14 The International Scott Centenary Expedition Commemorative Map.

  1. That is now such an iconic picture! How lucky are we that these events have been recorded! I love the ‘old’ picture of the Weddell seal – it illustrates the difference time and technology makes.

    ‘Here be dragons’ takes on a completely different meaning. While I love the beauty of the orca, they are seriously scary in their efficiency – a supreme example of efficiency, effectiveness and intelligence. I’m very glad they don’t walk among us on this earth.

    Your work it is so true to the craft of line drawing, while making the most of the variety of media that provides us with an accurate portrayal of the Antarctic. I love the juxtaposition of the old charts with yours. On the surface it’s an ancient chart but in reality so accurate in not only the land mass but the treasure in the seas!

    Ironically, I’ve met four people who have been there: a scientist, my brother and his wife, and the son of friends who went on a trip after winning an award while a schoolboy in Ireland. They went there to celebrate Shackleton’s trip, an Irishman, although we Brits lay claim to him too!

    • Thanks so much Cary. I’m really pleased that it is coming across in that way because that was my intention. When I watched Pontings film of the expedition and then the same day watched Frozen Planet, the progress in film and photography since 1912 just bowled me over.
      I think I put in one of my first blogs about wanting to give an old map feel but with accuracy of today’s knowledge. So happy that you like it!

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