Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Curiosity and a Loggerhead Sea Turtle

My personal encounter with sea turtles took place this past June on a dark beach with a small supervised crowd of awe-struck on-lookers, including me, as we watched a female Loggerhead lay her eggs.
While working on this unfinished sketch, comparing it to a friend's photograph, I began to think about the scales on this Loggerhead's head.  Were they always arranged the same way on each member of the same species?  What were they really called and what were they exactly?  

As I researched these questions, I discovered I needed a turtle dictionary!  Words like plastron, plates, bridge, costal scutes and nuchal scute, left me with even more questions.  So I pressed on until I found the meaning of each of these terms, as well as, the answers to my questions.

One of those unexpected side trips in the painting process that leaves the mind humble and refreshed!   
For more information visit Painting a Loggerhead Sea Turtle at Vickie's Sketchbook.   


  1. I love those side trips into the whys and wherefores! You've created some delicate and lovely browns on those scales. We have gopher tortoises here that I've sketched, and I find myself with the same questions, since their scales are so interesting and delineated.

  2. Vickie, this is wonderful, and just what I envision for this blog. I'd love it if you shared more of the details here, too...

    Beautiful sketch!

  3. Thank you, Elizabeth. I met gopher tortoises in FL in June also, another fun reptile. Looking forward to taking a better look now at some of the images I took.

  4. Thank you, Kate. I will certainly share more of the story and details as I finish the painting!

  5. Wonderful! Details like this are so useful and fascinating...

  6. Great post, Vickie! I too love the adventure of answers.


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