Let me Catch you Up to Speed.

Remember when I told you I was going to start painting my way (slowly) through James Prosek’s book “Trout: An Illustrated History?” Well, I didn’t forget. I had an idea I wanted to paint a picture of a brown trout like the one my dad caught last spring in the Driftless Area of Minnesota and give it to him as a Christmas present. As such, I couldn’t exactly be sharing that on the blog as he might have caught a glimpse of his, soon to be, gift. 

Below, you’ll see a few more pages from the book. I’m experimenting with different techniques and am struggling to control the colors. Most of the fish in Prosek’s book, I’ve never seen in my life. I search for pictures on the internet, but still, I find, I am limited by the colors I can mix (often far from what I want) and by my inexperience. There are something like 70 fish in that book, though, so, hopefully, by the end of my first time through, I’ll be getting the hang of it. That should be in about 2016. 

The second fish in the book: Greenland Char

So you can see, that Greenland Char was just too blue.  Well, at least too bue relative to his painting. For all I know, I got it spot on.
This was the first attempt at a brown. 

I messed up trying to bleed some colors with a watery brush and felt I couldn’t give this one to dad, so the next morning, I woke up and tried again.

The second attempt. 

I was thought this looked “cleaner” than the first.  But still, I wasn’t completely happy with the colors. It is so hard to get paint to behave.

The Blueback Trout. Tonight’s painting.

I am pretty happy with this one. I used some “dry strokes” (I don’t know the term for that) and it gave me some more control over the lighter red belly. It also makes the acrylic look more like colored pencil. I also decided to just be okay with the fact that I really don’t know what the trout looks like in my hands. I cut myself some slack and am okay with the fact that the colors may not be very true to the fish. 

Anyway, that is the update. Now you are caught up to speed. It may be a bit before I paint again, but when I do, I’ll let you know. 

Happy Wednesday. Now go to bed.

Author: D Nash

Family. Fly fishing. Music.

6 thoughts on “Let me Catch you Up to Speed.”

  1. “…so the next morning, I woke up and tried again.” — the inevitable story of art. 😉 Beautiful work, David…and these sorts are the best gifts.


  2. I tried to comment yesterday, but I guess it didn't work. I basically said… Nice work, my friend.
    The technique you called “dry strokes” is called “dry brush” so you were pretty darn close… it's one of the few I remember well from learning watercolor in art classes. There are a lot of really cool techniques for watercolor that I learned in school, but have since forgotten. One that I do remember is sprinkling salt over wet areas to absorb water and create an interesting spotted effect. I don't know if that technique really has a name, but it could be pretty useful for trout paintings. I need to experiment with watercolors again soon. I haven't picked them up since high school.


  3. that salting technique sounds cool 🙂 I was plenty active in art class as well, but active doesn't mean attentive 🙂 my own drum beats a little too loud to hear the teachers sometimes.. ha. I saw the first comment as well and am not sure why it didn't post. enjoy the weekend!


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