I had taken lots of pictures of these amazing performances and selected one to help me get what it should look like. But having photos wasn't quite enough for me to be sure of what I was painting, so I looked up several sources on humpback whale anatomy. That way I could emphasize the features a little to be faithful to what the whale looks like.
When a whale breaches, jumps out of the water, it makes a huge splash. It is an awesome display of power to propel such an enormous mass out of the water; quite exhilerating really. And I expect the whale feels pretty good too, showing off that kind of power. So it was quite a challenge to paint the spray sparkling as it slides off the whale and explodes off its fins.
These pictures were taken with the painting right on my easel, before the paint is even dry. I hope sometime soon to get good light conditions to be able to make prints of this painting to be available for people who would like a print of such a display of natural power.