The weekly paintings I make for my fish-blog, are usually studies, made of acrylics on paper. I bet you hardly recognize a fish in this creature at all. It's a so called seadragon, a relative of the well-known seahorses and pipefish. Fragile beauties, living along the coast of Australia, where they are considered endangered.
For these fish-paintings I use smooth watercolors paper. I think handmade watercolors paper is too rough for the details I like to draw. Basically I start out with a storyline for my blog. There are thousands of fish, so it will take me quite a while to run out of stories. And the best part is, every year 200 – 400 new species are described. How’s that for inspiration? Then I have to find a picture which includes the essential details (fins etc.) to create my own painted version. I start with a sketch (pencil drawing) to determine the right size. Then paint a few layers covering each other to obtain the colors I want. The process is a combination of techniques used for watercolors and acrylics. Like watercolor paintings I sometimes leave parts of the paper untouched, these parts are the natural whites. For other details, like the glancing eyes, I use white acrylics on top of the black eye.
I know I’m lucky to have many photos available to discover the details of a fish. In the old days, ichthyologists had to create technical drawings of the fish they described by using the real specimens saved in formalin. The blog entries I create usually are close to reality. But whenever possible I’m not counting every spine, ray or scale. So…back to reality. The queer fish in this blog is newly described. It’s named the Red Seadragon. If you're interested, continue reading my Queer Fish-blog for more details and the first description.