Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Flash - Rainbow Trout"

I thought it might be interesting to post some progress shots of my recent "Flash - Rainbow Trout" painting. Above, the preliminary block-in stage helps to establish the large shapes. The paint is pretty thin at this point and I work fast with a large brush. You can see some of the white charcoal outlines around the trout. I wanted to get the drawing correct on this important element at the very beginning. The colors seem pretty wild here and I was a bit concerned with how they would all fit together in the end.
In this image, I've refined the trout quite a bit. It's not quite where it needs to be, but at least it looks like a fish! I've also started to push the dark shape below the trout's head. It's a major element in the painting and the finished product will lean heavily on how well this area is handled.
Now things are really starting to take shape and it's starting to have an "underwater" feel. I've refined the mossy rocks on the bottom with rather large blobs of paint. Close up, the colors seem a bit ridiculous, but in the overall context of the painting, they're beginning to work. The blue swath of color behind the trout helps to give the image some depth.
More refinement and just about done. At this point, I need to set the painting aside for a few days. The rocks on the bottom are feeling a little overworked and I'm not happy with the transition between that blue swath in the middle and the rocks. That needs a bit of attention. Also, the slashes of light along the trout's body need some work. They're close, but not quite believable enough for my liking. The underside of the water's surface, on the other hand, is just about dead on.
"Flash - Rainbow Trout" 15x15 acrylic
FINISHED! I went back in with bigger brushes and simplified many of the shapes in the stream bed. I repainted nearly the entire trout to get the slashes of light to read properly and still have the trout recognizable as a rainbow. Now it's ready for a frame and the McKeever Show in September!

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