Vaquita Blanket Challenge

TAKE THE VAQUITA BLANKET CHALLENGE AND NOMINATE YOUR FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME!
The Vaquita porpoise is the world’s most endangered marine mammal with only 97 left in existence. They live in only in a small area within the Sea of Cortez between Baja and mainland Mexico. They drown when caught in gill nets set for shrimp or by poachers trying to capture another endangered fish, the Totoaba for their swim bladders considered a delicacy in Chinese restaurants. The Vaquita can be saved if the poachers are stopped and the fisherman switch to the vaquita safe trawl nets provided for them by the Mexican government. Yet, with most people unaware of the problem, there is reluctance to take these steps in time! Help us save the Vaquita by taking the Vaquita Blanket Challenge, posting about it and nominating your friends to do so as well. If we can raise awareness of this issue, we will have a chance to save a species! Let’s work together to do it!
How to Take the Vaquita Blanket Challenge:
Get two twin bed size blankets. Lay on the first blanket with your feet crossed at the ankles like a Vaquita tail and your arms behind your back with your hands clasped at the small of your back. Have someone wrap you tightly (roll you up in) the first blanket and then the opposite way in the second blanket. Now, have someone time you trying to get out without rolling over, without standing up and with minimal use of your arms. Can you get out in 97 seconds? Post your time along with this message (and optionally a video or picture of you taking the challenge) on social media, email it to your friends, and nominate 3 other friends to do so as well. Did you feel momentarily trapped like a Vaquita might feel in a net? If you’ve taken the challenge, you are eligible to buy and wear the Vaquita Blanket Challenge T-shirt at: http://www.booster.com/vaquitablanketchallenge. You can also make a donation toward the Muskwa Club’s efforts to save the Vaquita. Wear your shirt with pride to help spread the word about the Vaquita before it’s too late!
Front
Back

 

Puppeteers

Godfather Vaquita

The fishing season has begun. It runs during every month that has the letter “r” in it, which is September to April.

Enormous actions need to be taken right now by the Mexican and US governments in order to save the Vaquita. This could be the last year with the Vaquita if the fishermen are allowed to fish in their range this season:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/19/opinion/vidal-endangered-vaquita/

Our governments need to work together and make a decision now. Like puppeteers, they have complete control of the entire species, as I represented above. To help them make this historical decision, please sign this petition:

http://act.oceanconservancy.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=41469&em_id=30824.0

 

The painting is finished!

Despedida Vaquita

Frédérique Lucas’ masterpiece is complete. Four months in the making, the 17-year-old artist revealed her photo-realistic painting to the world yesterday. Titled “Despedida (Goodbye) Vaquita,” the work manages to capture raw emotion like few other paintings do. It depicts an entangled, washed up Vaquita on a Mexican beach, while the sun vanishes just as the porpoise’s life did. Please share the link below with everyone you know to inspire them to help the Vaquita. We need artwork like this to light a fire in us all to try our hardest to protect this porpoise. Thank you Frédérique and everyone that shares this painting and the Vaquita’s story. I have yet to hear of someone who was not moved by the Vaquita’s predicament, so the problem is that not enough people know. If they did, it would be a whole lot easier to save these little guys.

http://namu-the-orca.deviantart.com/art/Despedida-Vaquita-Goodbye-Vaquita-470879101

In other news, Save the Whales is running a Vaquita drawing contest for students, with the deadline being August 15: http://www.savethewhales.org/STV_StudentContest.html.
The prizes are either 4 tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or an “Adopt-a-Vaquita Kit” if you can’t make it to California. Those are outstanding prizes, especially for only drawing a picture! This is an opportunity not only to get great cetacean prizes, but also to support the Vaquita while making artwork. I won’t be submitting anything, but I will be making some larger Vaquita paintings soon, where I will put them up for auction with the proceeds going to the Vaquita, as always.
🙂

Pop Culture Porpoise

~Dedicated to Andy Warhol~

I thought it would be fun to start a new series of artwork: Pop Culture Porpoise. The idea is to Vaquita-fy famous pictures and symbols. Simple as that. Here is what I have done so far, and I am welcome to any suggestions such as new ideas for this series or any other types of art.

I ❤ Vaquitas

I Heart Vaquitas

Campbell’s Vaquita soup

Vaquita soup

Eternal smile

Eternal smile

Mona Vaquita

Mona Vaquita

iPorpoise

iPorpoise

All original pieces upon which these designs were based © copyright their owners. I am not affiliated with Apple Inc.

How to draw a Vaquita

I have been doing a lot of Vaquita artwork recently, so much, in fact, that I have developed a method for drawing this little porpoise. I have created a “How-to-draw a Vaquita” guide for all of you artists out there that are looking to make some Vaquita art. Obviously, this is not a definitive guide, it is just how I draw Vaquitas.

Before anything, you need to figure out exactly what you want the picture to be. You can base your drawing/painting on a photograph, but in this guide I will be drawing a generic Vaquita that can be used for any pose. All I will be using is a pencil and my fingertip.

1. Firstly, you need to draw a rough outline of the body. This needs to be very light. Don’t worry about it not being perfectly smooth yet. Don’t draw any external details, such as stripes or eye-patches. Just the outline. This will take a lot of practice to get right, so don’t give up if you need to erase the outline 10 or more times. A very useful tip is that the mouth is always smiling and pointed directly at the eye, which is slightly above the imaginary horizontal center line of the head.

Step 1

2. Next you will start adding detail. I prefer to start with the face and work towards the tail fluke. It is very useful to look at a bunch of photographs to get a good idea of what their individual body parts look like. The key points on the head are the eye-patch, mouth-patch, chin-to-flipper stripe, and the tiny ear hole, which is commonly forgotten. Also, begin the dark back, which is basically an extension of the mouth-patch.

Step 2

3. Take this time to make sure your pencil is very sharp. Redefine all of the details you already made, especially shadows. When you are coloring the back and flipper, make sure you rub the paper very hard with your fingertip to make the texture smoother. Now you can add the lighter gray to the face simply by rubbing, due to the excess lead on your finger. You can also add shading to the underside of the body with the rubbing technique, and the shine on the back by erasing lightly. You can also use the eraser to add subtle touches to the facial pattern, such as a ring around the eye-patch. Don’t forget to show hints of finger bones in the flipper. It is important that you know where the light source is coming from. In this case, the “sun” is above and to the right of the Vaquita, so I have the dark shading on the opposite sides of the light source (bottom left) of every curve. This is especially noticeable on the flipper.

Step 3

4. Next you need to work on the body. Use the same technique as the head: draw then rub. Make sure you are still looking at some pictures to get an idea of the color pattern. Vaquitas have a dark back, with light gray sides fading to a white belly. Make sure you continue the shine by erasing lightly, as well as drawing subtle muscles. Your fingertip should be pitch black as you are working on this. Next, you can work on the dorsal fin as well as any scars or markings for additional realism.

Step 4

Step 5

5. The final step is the tail stock and fluke. Pay close attention to the muscles and ridges of the tail stock, because the shading and lighting is crucial to making it seem real and 3-dimensional. There is a ridge along the vertebrae called a dorsal ridge, as well as a caudal keel, which is a ridge on the side of the tail stock connecting to the fluke. The fluke is basically flat, giving it a more uniform color than other body parts. When you are done with this, take a few minutes to overview the entire drawing. Squint, turn it upside down, take a photo of it, or ask someone else what they think; anything to help get a new perspective of the overall work of art. When you feel like you are completely content with your drawing, breathe a sigh of relief: you drew a Vaquita! Obviously your second try will be better than your first, third better than second, and so on, so stay patient. And of course, I would love to see your masterpiece! Please send your drawings to me at gl.tamarin123@gmail.com, as always.

Step 6

Here is my finished piece.

Finished