Friday, March 20, 2009

Painting a Rainbow trout.

This morning I decided to paint one of the trout I caught while out fishing yesterday. It was taken on a fly, fished from a drifting boat, lough style.

It is a nice silvery fish of about 1.25 kg, a Rainbow trout, grown on from fry stocked into the lough. I kept this one because it was so sleek and beautiful. It was also late in the day, so I wasn't worried about it laying in the sun for hours.

I started off by painting a quick oil paint study, rendered in about 3 hours. Painted alla prima I was more concerned with the light and colours on the fish than with the outline. Consequently the fish is a little too narrow and long in proportion. I also am not really happy with the tail shape after a long look.

The study is painted on a 35 by 25 cm canvas.

For the second work I have used a canvas 80 cm by 60 cm. I started this canvas by being much more particular in my drawing. Although this was done in paint with a brush, the sketching in was done by measuring proportions to ensure they were correct. I then adjusted the drawing slightly, to emphasise the perspective by moving the dorsal (top) fin back a fraction.

You will notice that I have taken a different angle with the second painting. I moved the fish nearer eye level to allow more of the underside of the fish to be visible.

Today, I have blocked in the background and shadow, and painted in the tail. This was important as the tail fin has started to dry out, even with regular damping. This effects the light and reflections, I also have taken some close up photographs for reference if needed. I continued working on the head, catching the colours and light playing around the gill covers, and finally I have blocked in the body tone to allow me to reposition the subject correctly for the next day so that the same area is subject to the silvery highlights.

I am not going to be able to continue tomorrow due to other commitments, but I hope to get back to the painting on Sunday. My fish will keep in the Refridgerator, covered so it doesn't dry out.

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