Under the Sea

Do you love aquariums?  Standing there, watching the fish dart and dip, the water sparkling with points of lights like a brillant diamond?  I’ve been to several outstanding aquariums… Shedd Aquarium, in Chicago and the Aquarium in Monterey Bay are my two favorites.  The colors of the tropical fish are breathtaking!  It’s a whole other world, under the sea.

I wanted to capture that feeling in my next painting.  It’s still morphing in my head, but I’ve sketched out what I want to do so far, which includes my favorite fish.  

Sketched Out

The fish are where I want them to be, and I vaguely have the background sketched out.  I want the painting to ‘move’ with the rhythm of the water and the colors to be rich and vibrant.  

I love how the colors in the water at the aquariums are layered, and want to recreate that.  There is still a lot I need to think about before I start on this one.  Watching Mary Whyte’s video was helpful in seeing her thought process and her approach to painting… what an inspiration!  

One thing I need to do more of is watch artists and listen to how they work and think.  And then hope some of that rubs off or sinks into my brain.  

First Wash

I wanted the first wash to be lighter than this, but hopefully it will work.  

This painting is one that I am focusing on being very detailed… it will take a lot of patience!  The sea floor, I want to be flowing and alive.  It’s weird… I can picture it in my head, but getting that picture to materialize on the paper is challenging. 

The fish themselves, I want to be vibrant and extremely life-like.  The background I want to be fluid.  

I’m starting with just one section of the sea floor at a time, to get the right look.  There is definitely a limit to what you can get watercolor to do.  It sure has a mind of it’s own!  But I’m going to let the colors guide me to my vision.  

(Select to enlarge)

Once I painted in these sea creatures in this section, of the sea floor, I gently brushed a greenish mix of color over them to add texture and another level of color.