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#366 Atlantic Humpback Dolphin

Critically Endangered

I have painted an animal a day for a whole year without skipping a single day!

I can barely believe it! I've never done something like this before, and now It is really going to be hard to stop. Asking what animal I should do for my final painting did not result in a definite consensus so I opted for one that sort of covers two bases. They are a mammal, but they are an aquatic animal too.

It is thought there are fewer than 1500 of these remaining. They are found off the west coast of Africa. Though they are more likely to be accidental bycatch in gill nets and shark fence nets than they are to be purposefully hunted. Unfortunately they are also still purposefully caught. They are about 8 feet long, and look a good bit different from what people first think when they hear dolphin. They have a longer "beak", and their dorsal fin looks quite different. They have what looks like a much smaller dorsal fin, but it is on top of a hump on their back. In a side view they really look like a triangle rather than the sort of stubby banana shape of a bottlenose dolphin. There are 4 species of humpback dolphins, 2 of which are vulnerable, one endangered, and these which are critically endangered.

Tomorrow I will share a painting I did probably the first week or two of these. It was before I got the true black, and before I'd allowed myself to do a second layer. Once I put water on it I was done and I didn't allow myself any changes. I did this one very early on because I honestly couldn't imagine I would ever manage to make it through a full 366 days without missing one day. I painted it so that even if I couldn't paint, I would have something to share. Well, I didn't need it! I did paint every single animal on the day they were posted. See, I didn't really have any confidence in my ability to make this happen, so I am quite proud of myself. I am not going to paint at all tomorrow, or that is my plan. Think I will feel a little lost though, I'm so used to painting daily now.

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