Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I always find fish interesting. The mere fact that they can breathe underway is fascinating and the play of light and dark in sunlit water as they dart about gives a challenge to capture it.

Koi carp have a long history and were used as a food fish with monks breeding them in moats. I recall in some Somerset canals, huge colourful koi swimming, being caught and released. They were the release of someone's carnival or pet store prize into the local waterway. These fish usually return eventually to the natural brown colour of carp but are often considered a nuisance, stirring up the bottom constantly and making the water useless, even for cattle to drink.

This was a quick sketch of a koi. I wanted a stronger sunlit effect but it didn't really come off. I need to darken the values, especially under the fish to get the effect of dappled sunlight. This could be a warm up for a painting. It has that colour that is appealing to me.

Over the last few months painting is taking a stronger hold in my life. I still love drawing and especially detailed pieces that I can lose myself in. Painting is a completely different side of me where I don't have to be so controlled. In fact, its almost a test to see how loose I can be sometimes and still provide a recognizable piece.


"JeanneG" said...

Good job. I have another photo of the same fish and he is blowing a bubble. I will email it to you.

Jeanette said...

Excellent, thank you!

Jan said...

I like this koi fish also and would like to see a painting of it. It almost appears that the fish is flying over the top of the water though. I mention that because I have problems trying for an underwater look. What's the solution for achieving sun-dappled but underwater?

christine said...

I love the slightly bemused expression on this koi's face!