Sunday, 15 March 2009

Seeing spots

Trout in progress watercolour, pen & ink

Crop showing pointillism

Progress, watercolour and start of pen and ink overlay

When you have a fish with dark pigment on it what else could you call it but Spot? When you add pen and ink in pointillism it reinforces the name.

I have been submerged in fish lately from prints to paintings as well as other elements of life that have taken over a bit including a shoulder problem that's made painting a bit challenging this week.

This particular piece started out as a study for planned piece. I want to experiment with some watercolour pours and add either fish prints or paintings to the full sheet. So I was seeing how a painting of a fish would look and it seemed to take on a life of its own.

Trout are fairly covered with minute black spots and larger areas of darker pigmentation. I started out in watercolour but it didn't give me the detail that I wanted. I pulled out a .25 Rapidograph pen and started adding tiny dots to create shading and the pigmentation. This method of working is very time consuming but I greatly enjoy it and it becomes almost soothing to sit there dotting away for ages.

I also laid my hands on a few bottles of irridescent acrylic ink and added tiny touches of this to the watercolour wash. I don't want the piece to be completely shiny and artificial looking, just make the viewer wonder if its their eye or is it really a little irridescent.

This is a piece in progress as I haven't completed the ink or the watercolour layers yet and will continue to slowly build them.

A friend's pond full of expensive koi carp was hit by deep ice and cold and a number of the fish died and were presented to me half frozen in a bag one evening last week. I haven't had a chance to do much with them this week, but they look promising as the scale pattern is so pronounced on the carp. I took one print but the fish wasn't thawed enough so the ice melted a little even after drying the skin and interfered with the ability to get a clear print.

I've continued to work on the original fish prints that I made with a rainbow trout and am creating both cards and paintings with them.


They seem to bring out a looser side of me and using brighter colours and abstract shapes is very freeing, even if going back to detail always appeals to me.

Its another part of Watermarks that I am grateful for - the push to experimentation and exploration. Thank you!

11 comments:

Katherine Tyrrell said...

These are really brilliant Jeanette - I'm greatly enjoying your adventure with fish. It seems to have freed something up inside you. They also look hugely marketable to me too as well. I think you should be taking yourself off to some galleries with these.

vivien said...

this is proving a rich vein of ideas :>)

africantapestry said...

Great series of fish art Jeanette. I fully agree with Katherine..it would be a shame if you don't get this series to a gallery!
ronell

Gesa said...

Yes - fully agree with Katherine, Vivien and Ronnell: these are great and there is so much possibility in there - i love the colourful washes, but the pointillism looks intriguing too! And, yes: a gallery!

Laureline said...

These are GORGEOUS!!! The colors are just amazing!

Jeanette said...

The fish do seem to have taken on a life of their own in some ways. I can't even articulate how or why, they just seem to flow. That sounds corny, but its really true.

Once I get them all in order, I'll consider what to do with them from there. There are lots of possibilities for a series and some gallery intervention. :)

The looseness is so outside my usual style, its as if someone else is doing this. But I sure am enjoying it!

muddy red shoes said...

wow love them... the prints look so ancient, like fossel fish, and the carp is sad but in a very beautiful way!

A Brush with Color said...

Wow! These are all just stunning! I love them! What beautiful paintings. Fabulous.

caseytoussaint said...

This is a wonderful series!

Judybec said...

These are so colorful! I'm enjoying watching what you do!

Lindsay said...

I love how you are playing around wiht such different approaches to your fish series. THe pointilist ones have such wonderful control and the fish prints look archeological. Very rich vein here.