Tuna Deadly Art


Tuna

Inspired by his list of Deadly 60 animals, Steve Backshall challenges a team of artists to create some astounding deadly animal art featuring the tuna.


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Transcript


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I'm Steve Backshall and this is Deadly Art.

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I'm lucky enough to travel the world

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tracking deadly animals.

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But in this show I'm picking 25 of my favourites.

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ROAR!

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I'm challenging my team of Deadly artists

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to recreate a killer moment.

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You'll get to make some art yourself

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and in the final show my team and will choose

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which animals make it into my Deadly Art Gallery.

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This is no ordinary art show...

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this is Deadly Art.

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'On today's Deadly Art,

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'I dive into the seas to find a super-swimming deadly animal.'

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This is extraordinary! There's hundreds of them!

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'My team of artists recreate another killer moment.'

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-I think he'll love it.

-Yeah.

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'You can make your own deadly art at home'

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Today's animal may seem like a pretty unlikely choice.

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It's not venomous, it doesn't have sharp claws or talons,

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however, it does have extreme speed.

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It's streamlined physique makes it one of the ocean's top predators.

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This is the tuna.

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It swims at a staggering speed -

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up to 70 kilometres an hour,

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that's ten times the pace of an Olympic swimmer.

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And super speed means an easy feed for these guys.

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Time to meet today's artists

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who are waiting in the Deadly Art studio for their mission.

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I'm Nicola, I'm a sculptor,

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and a power-tool queen!

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I'm Jo, I like using gloss paint, human hair,

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all sorts of different materials.

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But most of all, I like making a mess.

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In just a moment, you'll be joining me in Australia

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on our tuna voyage.

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But for now, these are the killer shots

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I'd like my artists to recreate.

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They need to include these three essential elements...

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Number one, the tuna's silvery scales

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which shimmer as they swim.

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There are eight species of tuna but they have one thing in common.

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Above, they're a shiny metallic blue,

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and on the bottom, a shiny silvery-white.

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This helps camouflage them from above and below.

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The next element is the tuna's streamlined physique.

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In the water, they are totally turbo-charged.

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Their torpedo shape is perfect for speedy swimming.

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They can accelerate with just a flick of their tail.

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Unlike most fish,

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tuna can keep their body temperature warmer than the surrounding water,

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which enables them to achieve maximum power.

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The next bit is tricky,

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but I'd like my team to try and capture a sense of the tuna's speed.

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They're really, really fast,

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leaving their prey with absolutely no chance of escape

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and this is what makes the tuna really deadly.

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So their speed is the third essential element

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I'd like my artists to recreate in their deadly art.

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Jo and Nicola, good luck!

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Look at that shimmering, shiny skin.

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-They really camouflage into the sea.

-It's beautiful.

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This is where they all swim together in a shoal.

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You can really see that torpedo shape there. That's really important.

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-Whoa.

-That's a feeding frenzy.

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There's millions swimming around really fast!

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-Right, let's do it.

-Come on, then.

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Time for some Deadly Art.

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I'm going to get loads of paint,

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all sloshing around just like in the ocean.

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I've got some gloss paint

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which will be brilliant for that shimmering skin.

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These three paintings will represent the three shots brilliantly.

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Right, I'm going to sketch out the tuna fish.

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I'm going to spray my board with an undercoat

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so that it's really smooth when we paint on it later.

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How on earth are those three boards going to turn into this?

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Well, we'll find out soon.

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Meanwhile, over in Australia,

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I'm attempting an unusual scientific experiment.

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The tuna is just about the most perfect example

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of a hydrodynamic fish.

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I, on the other hand,

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am not that streamlined.

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So theoretically, if I was to get in there

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and try and travel fast,

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I should be hammered by drag.

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'So, we already know

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'that tuna can travel up to around 70 kilometres an hour.

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'Which equates to about 38 knots.'

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You can see as we start to build up speed,

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automatically, the water's pushing back against me.

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I'm really, really struggling to hold on.

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I'm actually already losing my trunks!

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LAUGHTER How fast now?

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6.8.

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Aah!

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LAUGHTER

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I've lost my trunks.

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So we're now going about a tenth of the speed

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that a tuna can go, full-whack.

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It's almost pulling the arms out my sockets!

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How fast is that, Mark?

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-Seven knots.

-Seven.

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A bit faster.

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Aah!

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He's gone.

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He's gone, Mark, he's gone.

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What was our final speed when he let go, Mark?

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8.5.

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8.5. He did quite well.

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I think that pretty much proves

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that unless you're streamlined,

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you ain't going nowhere in the water.

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And it also proves,

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why fish don't wear swimming costumes.

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So how are Jo and Nicola getting on with their massive deadly art?

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I'm glad we get to keep our clothes on, here in the art studio!

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This painting will be the portrait of the tuna fish,

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really showing off that lovely silvery skin.

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I'll start with the background, pouring the paint, all thinned out,

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which is obviously going to be the ocean.

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So this gloss paint is really thinned down with white spirit.

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It really sloshes around,

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really run together to make that background.

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I'm creating my background using a different technique to Jo.

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I've started off with this white base,

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because I want that to shine through

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this beautiful blue paint that I'm about to apply using this rag.

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I can just create a lovely ocean texture.

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And then later on,

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I'm going to add a shoal of fish on top,

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gathering just before that feeding frenzy.

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I'm going to leave that one to dry now.

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Onto the last canvas. This one's going to be the feeding frenzy.

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I'm going to use blacks and dark blues for the deep, dark ocean.

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Lots and lots of white at the top

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to show the light shining through.

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Hmm, looks intriguing, team.

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While Jo carries on having fun with the paint,

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it's time for a deadly doodle with Nicola.

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I'm going to show you how to draw a tuna fish.

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It's really simple.

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Start off with the shape of a rugby ball.

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This is going to give you that torpedo shape that we're looking for.

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A half-moon at the back.

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And then join the shapes together.

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Give him two fins.

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One at the top,

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and one at the bottom.

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That's basically it for our shape,

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but no tuna fish is complete without that beautiful shimmering skin.

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So we'll use this iridescent blue ink.

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Don't worry about going out of the lines,

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because we can redefine this shape a bit later on.

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Wash off your brush.

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And for his belly,

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some sparkly silver.

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This is really beautiful, this colour.

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It blends really nicely with that blue.

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And I think that should do it.

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When it's dry,

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redefine that shape using a marker pen.

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His tail...

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and because this is a deadly tuna fish,

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we can add some spikes.

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And for his mouth...

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More spikes...

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And now we need some detail - a little eye.

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Second fin.

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A couple of lines.

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And we can cut it out.

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You might want to get some help with this.

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And there we go...

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our super-speedy deadly tuna fish. Zoom!

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Great doodle, Nicola.

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Steve has asked us to capture these essential elements,

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so we need to make sure we get the shimmering skin on this one.

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We've got silver paint for that.

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I can still see where I drew the tuna earlier,

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so we'll use them as our guides. OK.

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We need to just move it around to get the shape of the fish again.

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Because we've put on so much of this paint

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you can move it around but then it'll dry in its own way anyway.

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-Someone's created scales on this one.

-Yeah, that's that silver paint.

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Really starting to see these fish take shape now.

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That looks almost as much fun as being dragged along in the sea

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with no swimming trunks on.

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Back in Oz, it's time for me to get a little closer to our speedy tuna.

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This is extraordinary!

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There's hundreds of them!

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Each one of these tuna weighs almost as much as me,

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but they swim effortlessly.

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They're just gliding past me,

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they're barely swimming.

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I feel like fish food.

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Look at that!

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Being up close to them under water

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makes it easy to see why they're deadly predators.

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They are the perfect shape,

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nothing sticks up out of it to slow them down.

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They move with just a flick of their tail. Awesome! Ha ha!

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Luckily, tuna fish eat small fish like sardines.

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If I was a sardine now, I'd last about a second.

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Being in the ocean with the tuna was breathtaking.

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Now Jo's going to put Nicola's tuna doodle in its ocean home.

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All I've done is got a bit of card

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and covered it in some shiny wrapping paper.

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On the back, I've put two triangles, which will help stand it up.

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Then I've cut through a wavy line

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and I'll tell you what that's for later.

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Now the fun bit. I'm going to make some seaweed.

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We've got some watered-down green paint.

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With the pipette I'm just going to draw a line.

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And this is the good bit.

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OK, I think that looks great.

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Now, we're going to let that dry.

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Once it is dry, I'm going to cut it out

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making sure you get a nice, straight edge down this side,

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so that when you stand it up, it doesn't fall over.

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And then around all of the seaweed.

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You might need some help with this.

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There we go. So what we have to do next,

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just get these triangles. I'm going to tape them onto the back,

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which will make it stand up.

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The seaweed will just sit... in front of it

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creating the scene.

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Then bring in the tuna, that Nicola made for us.

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We're going to attach just a strip of cardboard to the back of it.

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Like that.

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Then we're just going to thread it up there.

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There he is. Nicola's also very kindly made some more, little tuna.

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When there's a feeding frenzy, there's always lots of them around.

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Perfect. This tuna is going to join the others in finding its prey.

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Great work, Jo. Over to Nicola.

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Using the same technique that Jo and I used earlier

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to create those bigger tuna fish,

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I'm creating an entire shoal

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Just by pouring two blobs of paint,

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and using a paintbrush and moving them

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into the torpedo, streamline shape.

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And then...

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they're ready for their detail.

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Each tuna fish is going to need an outline...

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a little eye...

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..two fins...

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..and when I've done that to the entire painting,

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we'll have our shoal of tuna fish.

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I want to capture the speed of the feeding frenzy.

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And these are going to be their prey.

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Oh, those poor little sardines are going to be gobbled up.

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The big art is complete.

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We've used loads of silver paint to capture

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the shimmering skin of the tuna.

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-The torpedo shape is very apparent in that one.

-Yeah.

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In this feeding frenzy painting, you really get the idea of speed.

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I can imagine them racing through the water.

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Do you think Steve's going to like them?

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-I think he'll love it!

-Yeah.

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So it's time for the big reveal.

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Remember, these are the killer shots I wanted my artists to recreate.

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Let's take a look at the finished work of art.

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Wow! That's jaw-dropping!

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I can really imagine these tuna zooming

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through the Australian waters.

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On the first canvas, the tuna are gathering, ready to start feeding.

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They're perfectly captured in gloss and metallic paints.

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This canvas is quite abstract but you can see the small sardines

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at the top of the picture,

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with the tuna about to rocket up to grab them.

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And finally, we get a close-up

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of their eye-catching blue and silver scales.

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Beautiful but deadly.

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That's a top deadly rating from me

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but will it make it into my deadly gallery? Maybe.

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See you next time for more Deadly Art.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Email subtitling@bbc.co.uk

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Inspired by his amazing list of Deadly 60 animals, Steve Backshall challenges a team of artists to create some astounding deadly animal art. The subject of this programme is the tuna.