Reel in reference material.
A hammerhead shark has a very different head shape from that of a tiger shark or a great white. Studying detailed examples of your preferred species will help you see its unique characteristics. To successfully capture distinct shapes, intricate skin details, and the exact shape of those razor sharp teeth, you have to examine them closely.
With the exception of a local aquarium visit, observing these fish in person may not be a possibility. Thankfully, an endless supply of reference materials exists, like books, photos, models, or even toys. You can explore thousands of reference images with resources like Adobe Stock.
Step 1: Start drawing.
Begin by drawing a rough initial sketch of the shark's body. “The body is like a spindle or a teardrop laid on its side,” says artist Terryl Whitlatch. “This goes for all sharks. The curved lines of the body create a spindle shape with one end slightly wider than the other end. The slightly wider end is the shark’s head and the narrower end is the tail.”
Sharks also have what's called a lateral line that runs from the gills to the end of the tail. It’s visible on the side of the body. “The lateral line is really important when you draw any fish,” says Whitlatch. “It’s a sensory organ that helps keep the shark oriented in the water, so it knows what's up, what's down, and what’s sideways.” Add this element to your drawing to make it as realistic as possible. You can also add a thicker line in various places to give more weight to any area of the body.
When you set up a new canvas in Adobe Fresco, you can place your reference photos right next to your digital drawing and painting area. Learn how to add and work in layers, a great way to use reference images, in this step-by-step Adobe Fresco tutorial.