On December 9, 2012, I painted the Arctic Char. It was my first painting since college. It was the first painting in the “Painting Through Prosek” series. At the time, I thought I might be able to paint every fish in the book. That didn’t happen. That being said, I think I painted 31 different fish from the book Trout: An Illustrated History by James Prosek. I also painted a speckled trout, a couple brookies and brown trout, two red drum tails, and a quail.
This project ended with the Atlantic Salmon. It is such a powerful and beautiful fish. These amazing sea-run fish, return to home waters to spawn. Some make the trip more than once. Most do not.
Salmon have been an important species to may people for many reasons. Some salmon runs have long since disappeared from interruption of their path by dams. This is just as true for the Atlantic Salmon as it is for their West Coast cousins.
I chose to go outside my comfort zone and paint something other than the body colors. I drew some of the structure of Prosek’s fish in pencil to help guide my brush. I think this was a great way to end this project.
I’m not sure what comes next. I have Prosek’s book, Trout of the World and Ocean Fishes. But I was thinking of something else.
This July, we are moving back to Southeast Minnesota for the year. I’ll be at the edge of the Driftless Area. I might try to find representative flora and fauna and paint those in a Driftless series. Just a thought, for now.
So, funny story. I guess I’m tired. I just realized I painted this trout already. Nice one, David.
After another 12+ hour day at work, I came home to a sleeping household. Wife. Baby. Cat. All sound asleep. After finishing a couple chores, I decided to move forward with the next object of study in the Painting Through Prosek Series
The state fish of New Mexico is one I would love to see in real life. The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout comes in many colors, but it always seems like you can imagine a desert landscape in the profile.
Prosek’s version is colorful. Mine is inaccurate, but okay nonetheless.
If you are interested in acquiring a couple prints of the Painting Through Prosek Series, visit my Etsy page
. All proceeds go to our local trout unlimited chapter. The bundle of cards will come tied in fly line. My very first fly line, in fact.
|His is better 🙂
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies:
On a totally separate note, try mixing 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, and a dash of cinnamon together and baking for 10 minutes at 425F. Crazy easy. Crazy delicious.
The saga continues following James Prosek’s lead. The state fish of New Mexico is as beautiful as a desert sunset. I would love to see one of these in person.
|Prosek’s on the left, mine on the right.
|It is better in person.
|Maybe someday this could be yours 🙂
If you have enjoyed these paintings and are interested in how you could get your hands on a cheap print, check out my new etsy shop! You can get a set of four different prints on blank greeting cards. For now, all proceeds will go to fund my local trout unlimited chapter.
The colors on my rendition of James Prosek’s Greenback Trout are as bright and bold as the fish’s comeback from near extinction. I had to paint this one in a flurry during our little one’s evening naps. Fortunately, he was gracious enough to even give me the time to post it. Sleep well, little David.
|Prosek’s version is very colorful.
Do you see that one little orange spot in the middle? Well, I went back and covered with a black spot like it is supposed to be. I guess that’s what I get for rushing 🙂
My buddy Kevin wanted me to try painting a Shenandoah Brookie for him “Prosek Style.” Meaning, he wanted the swatch of color and pattern without the fins and such. That is good, because I can’t paint the other bits of the fish.
Using Prosek’s Labrador Brook Trout as a guide along with the picture from Kevin, I came up with a version I like. Hope you do too!
If you read the post before this,
you’ll know I made a CD and put it on CDbaby. Well guess what? It is also on Spotify and iTunes. I’m very impressed with how quick that all happened. If you get a chance, go have a listen. Search “David Nash Dormroom Sessions”and you should find it. It was pretty fun to put together. Spotify works a bit like pandora, so you don’t have to pay to listen as opposed to iTunes and CDbaby which will make you buy it to hear the entire thing. iTunes also has longer song previews than CDbaby.
I’ve been looking forward to this fish ever since a I saw a photo posted by Ivan of Yukon Goes Fishing
on his Instagram feed.
|photo by YGF… I think.
Now, I don’t really know for sure if that is Colorado River Cutthroat or a Yellowfin Cutthroat. What really amazed me was the spot distribution and stark contrast of the yellow body.
I have primarily been focusing on the broad side of the fish. As you can seen in James Prosek’s depiction, it is rather spotless. That meant I had to get a little creative in how I added the spots in. I could have painted the entire fish or just the tail, but I decided to go a different direction.
|There may still be time to put this book on your Christmas list.
|The cheap paint set I bought a while back has lasted.
As you can see below, I deiced to just let the spots run off the page.
I also painted them to fade out a bit.
Another look at the spots.
The Instagram shot.
Next up, the Greenback.
As I finish the section on the Rainbow, Redband and Golden Trout, it has begun to really sink in how much trout diversity there is in North America. This slow stroll through Prosek’s book has given me the chance to daydream about one day seeking out some of the less common species. Who knows, I might find myself backpacking the High Sierras, just south of Mount Whitney, stalking the Kern River tributaries in search of the Volcano Creek Golden Trout.
From here, we move on to the Cutthroat Trout. This is a, relatively, diverse group. I believe I have about 6 or 7 pages marked to paint. Slowly but surely, I’ll make it through.
A species native to Baja, California identified in 1908.
A colorful body with blues, greens and yellows.
I left off the ventral boundary on this painting.
A subtle difference that draws the eye to the name of the fish.
By writing the name in pencil, the name doesn’t draw the eye completely away from the image.
As you may have noticed, James Prosek seems to enjoy painting several of his variety of trout in their juvenile garments. Losing your parr marks must be like shedding the jacket of immaturity for many fish. Though, like humans, I bet they still make poor decisions time after time, even after puberty.
The Sheepheaven Redband Trout: a Redband trout (one of the Rainbow variety).
And now, a look at the Painting Through Prosek portfolio. Below isn’t pictured the Brook Trout (that went to Owl Jones) and a brown trout painting that went to my Dad.
You can also see the redfish tail in there. That is the second attempt at a redfish.
The first went to a good friend for her birthday.
Last Friday night, I sat down and tried my second attempt at painting a redfish tail. When it comes to painting fish you can be as simple or detailed as you like. The redfish is a perfect example of a fish that looks pretty straight forward in the minds eye, but quickly becomes more complicated with its subtle highlights and many shades of rust, silver and blue.
I’m thinking I might find myself painting a few Christmas gifts this year.