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Right Angle Whale by thomastapir Right Angle Whale by thomastapir
So-called because her body is oriented perpendicular to the traditional vertebrate long axis. There's no major conceptual basis for this one; it was actually an image flash inspired by dried paint splotches on the palette I was using for acrylics last week. One of them struck me as the sort of patterning you might see on a right whale, but the impression I had was of a vertical, and laterally flattened, body arrangement similar to that of an ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

The markings as I originally interpreted them were more involved and more highly contrasted, so there may be another version of this in the future. In fact my original image more closely resembled another type of whale I can't quite harpoon right now, so I'll look through some marine mammal books tomorrow.

Alternate history, far future, transplanted panspermic hybrid...? It's your call!
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Wonderful concept! :)
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
Thanks very much, I'm happy you like it!
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome. :)
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:iconsenoritafish:
senoritafish Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Very cool - I'm just discovering your futuristic animals...
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Oh, thanks very much...I hope you like what you find!
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:iconkairu-hakubi:
Kairu-Hakubi Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
these are all just amazing..
i shouldn't be surprised you get inspiration from patterns you see on stuff..
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
Hah, I do often find inspiration in odd places! =p

Thanks very much! (Sorry for the delayed response btw!)
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:iconlow-lighter:
Low-Lighter Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Student Filmographer
yeeeeeeeees
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Well that's always better to hear than "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" :lol:
Thanks!
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:iconjtsj:
JTSJ Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011  Student Writer
awesome whale
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011
Thanks very much, I'm glad you like it!
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:iconajtalon:
AJTalon Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2011  Student Writer
Very weird, but I love it.
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:iconbubblekirby:
bubblekirby Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011
This could be a descendant of the ocean sunfish
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:iconinkbleederwolf:
InkBleederWolf Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010  Student General Artist
Cool, I like its curved smile.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
Thank you! Thanks slso for the fave.
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:iconaaandreeewww:
aaandreeewww Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009
Amazing work. I love stuff like this.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2009
Thanks very much! Thank you also for the watch and the faves. :)
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:iconaaandreeewww:
aaandreeewww Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2009
No problem :]
I couldn't help it... your drawings are amazing!
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2009
Aw, thanks! I'm glad you like them. :)
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:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009
ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG

"...another type of whale I can't quite harpoon right now..." Go directly to jail. Do NOT pass GO. Do NOT collect $200.

Okay, confessions, seahorses are cool but sunfish are teh weirdness, and tossing in a right whale makes it even more astounding. Callosities and baleen all look sweet, the markings look whaley enough too. How about mixing in some beaked whale in a future species?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009
Aww man, I luffs me some beaked whales! (As may be evident from the Vamporpoise.) I've got big plans for the tusked denizens of the briney deep, but they relate more to some of my other fictional clades...
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:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009
*fingers crossed*
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:iconcarriontrooper:
CarrionTrooper Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Hehehe, cool! Mola Mola...
how about creating a species named Numa Numa? XD
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Wha...? I'm sure there's some really obvious reference I'm overlooking there! :lol:

Thanks for the fave!
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:iconcarriontrooper:
CarrionTrooper Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Well, go to YouTube and search for Numa Numa, you'll find the reference... albeit it'll stop you laughing on your tracks. XD
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:iconthe-phref0:
THE-PHREF0 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009   Traditional Artist
haha i too get insparation from random things like splotches.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Dontcha love that?? I think some of the most "authentic" art emerges from random patterns in chaos. :)
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:iconthe-phref0:
THE-PHREF0 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009   Traditional Artist
it is pretty cool.
haha now i carry around a little sketchpad incase i see something interesting.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2009
It's a good idea! I've found a little cheap-o camera works too. I tend to write when I'm out rather than draw, so most of my drawings of interesting environmental features end up as incidental sketches in a spiral notebook. :)
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:iconthe-phref0:
THE-PHREF0 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2009   Traditional Artist
like you said before, those chaotic patterns and random sketches are full of potential haha.
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
An interesting and wierd design, what ever it is it looks damn pleased with itself.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
She's just happy she's remained upright this long! :lol:
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:iconrayn-hammer:
Rayn-Hammer Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE MOLA MOLA! wondiferous!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Hah, I guess that was a hit! :lol:
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!
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:icondoodlebotbop:
Doodlebotbop Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
*giggles* She looks so cute! XD Interesting form too, I love that whale-grin X3
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Whales have a lot of interesting expressions! :)
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:icondoodlebotbop:
Doodlebotbop Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup yup! :3
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:iconzoekozoeko:
zoekozoeko Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Wow, your creativity never ceases to amaze me! I wouldn't mind you being God (though I am an atheïst).
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Aww, what's the point of being God if you won't believe in me??
:lol:

Thanks man! :)
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Sometimes it's just great fun to cram one animal into another's packaging: ala wright whale into a sunfish. Love how this guy came out. Always was fascinated by sunfish... Really, nature? That's how you're going w/ the sunfish? Ok....

Story of her inspiration is interesting too. It's amazing what can come out at you from coffee stains, shower fog, etc... The trick is remembering and executing, which I'm glad you did for this one.

So, would she have her blowhole in the top of that dorsal fin? That would be very practical actually. Like a snorkel. Whalers be damned!
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Holy $#&! Would you believe, after all the careful consideration I gave to the exact same issue in the Aspidochelone, that I never even considered the position of the blowhole on this one?!
:fork: <- forcibly creating blowhole
The dorsal fin idea is a good one, or they might have to breach the surface frequently (and in a fairly dramatic fashion, I'd say, to clear the length of that fin; center of gravity and buoyancy would probably work against such a solution, just in terms of metabolic expenditure versus energy gained).

re: mundane inspiration--yeah, totally! As a kid I used to lie on the floor and stare up at the ceiling, imagining the spackling as lunar rills and the lamps and air vents as lunar bases. Ahh, those were the days. :) (Actually, I still do it.) :blush:
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
:lmao: Best blowhole mutilation emoticon ever!!

Would be a shame to ruin the elegant shape of those fins w/ a blowhole adaptation --perhaps a series of smaller holes towards the rear of the fin? Might look cool too. Almost like a detail you'd add on a mechanical wing design, but done biologically. My other suggestion would be a blowhole right at the tip of the nose, for only a semi-awkward breach. :hmm: first idea for attractive fin breather array better methinks.

And as for the evolutionary/narrative context of this critter... I think he'd be excellent in a wild fantasy setting. Always like to imagine original creature configurations for fantastical stories. Final Fantasy w/ a dash of Barlowe beasts.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Oh yeah, good idea! I'm so used to marine animals having the nostrils migrate towards the top of the head/body that it never even occurred to me to move them back towards the nose...Good call. :)

You know, I did have in mind something very similar to your "multi-blowhole" solution for some of the Snorkoise relatives...Without giving too much away, there is a form in which the shell of the dorsal barnacle symbiont has evolved into a blade-like implement used for hunting, and there are breathing holes very much like you described along the length of this structure (that is, rather than terminating in a blowhole). These channels also help to lighten the "blade."

I've never played a single Final Fantasy game! Don't they take like a thousand hours to beat...? I'm not too good with video games--it would probably be more like 5,000 hours. :)
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
The bladed snorkoise sounds badass... looking forward to it now.

There was a time I wanted nothing to do w/ RPG games like final fantasy. Converted in art school thanks to FFX & my PS2. Best/worst investment ever. The lengthy game time is really the central allure of such games --in stark contrast to brainless shooters or hack & slashers that can take a mere 15 hrs to beat. More bang for the buck. Better value per hour of gameplay. The idea behind RPGs is that the player takes a certain amount of responsibility for character development. Done well, part of you really doesn't want the journey to end.

Video games are one of my favorite addictions. I can sincerely credit such game titles for a huge percent of my artistic inspiration. More than films, literature, or television. Often, their budgets and creative input easily outgun any of the aforementioned media. Without carrying on too long (too late) I'll say this for the Final Fantasy titles: They are all made of 100% balls out imaginative rocket fuel. They taught me -especially in terms of character design- to take the hinges off the mental doors and open wide... to refuse limitations when groping for original concepts. Call it positive brain mushification. ;P

This also leads to my general philosophy; that when it comes to feeding the imagination, don't deny yourself anything awesome.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Oh man, I can totally relate to video games as inspiration...There's an old Sega Genesis game called Biohazard Battle that I swear was responsible for the entire paradigm behind the mech universe that preceded the Flea War. You know, I probably wouldn't even get that impression if I played back over it nowadays, but at the time it was a pivotal influence, just the trigger I needed for that creative flux.

I can also relate to what you're saying about RPGs as a "more bang for your buck" kind of thing--and I say that as a relatively anachronistic gamer (I'm always at least 10 years behind the latest trends--the most current game system I own is a Nintendo 64!). I played back over "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" recently, and was struck by how rich and immersivve the world actually is, even for such a relatively primitive game. I started out with paper-and-dice RPGs in my teens, so my impression of the 64-bit Zelda was a digitized VR version of an ideal D&D scenario, on par with what I was reading in Wm Gibson novels back in the 80s.

And I totally adhere to your general philosophy--it's what keeps me reading crazy alternate history and conspiracy theory books for that one line that might give me a totally different perspective on the Flea War! :)
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009
Ocarina of Time was completely brilliant. Never actually played the whole thing through, but logged a few eyes popping hours on a friend's system in college. Firing arrows from horseback in a vast 3D environment was like an unimaginable feat for any gaming experience at the time. The whole back and forth through time thing... genius. I actually regret not having seen the whole story. Really solid games don't always lose appeal over time. While the graphics quality may be frustrating by today's astronomical standards, a well built and balanced adventure is immortal.

Totally missed out on the whole paper and dice RPG experience. Probably would have loved it, but wasn't lucky enough to join any fellowship when the time was ripe. I had a small glimpse in high school, but was frustrated by all of the rules and restrictions. Seemed more fun for me just to imagine stuff on my own without any structure or framework. But in the right circumstance, w/ the right folks, could have been much different.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2009
I totally agree with you, games are like any other media in that sense--a good story with an interesting setting and engaging characters (and in the case of interactive media such as games, fun and intuitive playability)will always have a timeless appeal. That's why even the original 8-bit Zelda is still a classic.

I have really mixed feelings myself about "analog" RPGs. As I've said before, I'm one of those guys who is happy as a clam reading the manuals and never playing the games, just soaking up the world-building ideas and letting them unfold in my head or filing them away for future inspiration. On the other hand, there's the excitement and comradery of playing through an adventure with friends, and as you say, so much of it is dependent on people and circumstances. I'm playing a Star Wars RPG with a couple of friends right now, and the verdict's still out...One of the things that's very noticeable is the lag time in combat scenarios--something that would be very cut-and-dry and unfold in real time on the computer, being over in about 10 seconds, can take a couple of hours of dice-rolling and checking stats. But I guess that's part of the appeal for some--it just means more time to bullshit and hang out with your friends.
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:icondanieljoelnewman:
danieljoelnewman Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Wow, very creative design
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Thank you!
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:iconbrokenmachine86:
BrokenMachine86 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, it's like a sunfish taken to a extreme! I love the shading you use, it gives those kind of creatures a nice skin texture, smooth looking , like in the whales. And the callosities on its body make it look more like a whale, wich its great because that way it looks more interesting, more bizarre. I wonder how much it could open its mouth...
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