Shark Tank at the Maritime Aquarium

You can click the image above to see a larger, clearer image. I'm sorry about the glare on these pages, but due especially to the iridescent and interference paint used, the sparkly surfaces of the pages in my sketchbook reflect a lot of light.

This was another really dark room where a book light would have come in handy. I sketched in brown ink and then added a little watercolor. Even though the scene was quite neutral in color, I felt it needed a bit more than the ink alone would give me. The glittery blue border and background were done in advance. In preparation for my aquarium visit, I got several pages ready in blues, though I ended up using just two of them, and used previously prepared spreads for the rest. This particular one turned out to be ideal for the shark tank.

While I was sitting there sketching, a woman walked in with her toddler son. He walked wide-eyed up to the tank, pointed to a large fish with a chunk of flesh taken out of him, and said, "Oh, look! That fish got bit REALLY BAD, Mommy! Those sharks are mean!"

Mom seemed pretty horrified, but I'm sure she didn't want her son having nightmares about shark attacks. She picked him up and said, "Oh no, Sweetie, they were just playing! It was an accident....Just a little rough play!"

She looked at me and I looked at her and we both giggled.


  1. I've been enjoying your sketches from the Aquarium. First, I live in Connecticut but I've never been to the Aquarium in Norwalk. So, I guess I'll just have to do that. Second, your shark article really brought back memories of visiting the Aquarium (Mystic, CT/Boston, MA) as a kid, and seeing the sharks with the big chunks of flesh taken out of their sides. That concept is unsettling at any age, I think.

  2. Kp, it's a great little aquarium! I can't wait to go back and sketch there again. :)