Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Koi Carp

This week has been a bit odd in that I have had a visitor and so my studio has had to become a bedroom, with only very limited access. Therefore there has been no painting since my last visit to AVA on Thursday, and I have not had time either to get onto the pc to post the painting from that session.

All is back to normal again, so I will share the Thursday result with you. The topic was 'Mystery Creature' and we were given a wide range of tropical fish pictures from which to produce a painting. There was no previous prep, so it was all accomplished within the two hour slot.

I chose to paint a pond of Koi Carp[ and another unknown fish ( I liked its colour ).

I wanted some movement in the water, so started the painting by swirling a white wax candle around the paper. This resists the paint when it is applied and retains the white of the paper. The only problem is that you cannot see where you have been with the candle, so lightness of touch is required, so that it is not over-done.

I then drew and painted the fish in the usual way and applied a nice deep blue background, and it is at this point that the candle wax really shows to advantage. At this point you know if you have got it right or not!

When the painting was finished as best it could be in the time available, I made sure that it was totally dry and then lightly sandpapered the bodies of the fish to hopefully produce a fish scales effect. Again, lightness of touch is needed!

The paper is Fabriano, which is of a good enough quality to allow you to abuse it a bit with things like wax and sandpaper.

On reviewing the results, I wish that I had made a bit more of the hint of more fish in the background, and some of the carp are a bit of a funny shape (they appear to have flippers rather than fins!) but apart from that it was great fun and I really enjoyed it!


  1. Thanks for the wax and sandpaper tips. I'm not sure about this one it doesn't seem to exhibit any of the subtleties that are your trademark. The self criticism in your text certainly suggests ways to improve it.

  2. Glad the tips are useful, and you are right, Mick. Not my finest hour but it was great fun to do none-the-less. I don't think I have the enthusiasm to do any more to it, so it will be put on one side for the back to be used as test paper!.

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  4. I htink it's very nice, Yvonne. I've never been able to paint fish in motion -- I can't quite get the shapes as they turn in the water. I like how your water turned out.

    1. Thanks Stevie. It is such a long time since I painted this one, I am not sure if I remember how I got the water effect. Glad you enjoyed looking at the post,