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.
What better to do while watching a good game this evening? While Wisconsin took their shot at Kentucky, I took my shot at the Western Cutthroat Trout. Again, I turned to a combination of James Prosek’s version with some photos online and came up with a compromise.
Look at Kaminsky go!
I added the highlights to give it that shiny-wet-fish appearance.
The arctic grayling is an awesome fish. It used to be much more prevalent in the lower 48. Maybe someday it will make a comeback.
Prosek doesn’t have this in his trout books, but I still feel it falls in line with this series.
Well, after a quick trip to fish harkers island, I thought it was time to look to Prosek’s book Ocean Fishes for inspiration and tried my hand at the Speckled Trout, also known as weakfish or Sea Trout. This fish can look basically black and white at first glance, but with a closer look the iridescent blues, greens, and purples as well as the rose and buttercup yellows start to shine through.
I’m not 100% satisfied with it, but that might be more a sign of my personal growth and desire to step outside the realm of the body design and start looking into fins and gill plates as opposed to the actual outcome.
Regardless, I give you the Speckled Trout.
No apologies for the decrease in posts, from me. I’ve been busy with an amazing 8-month old and traveling for interviews. This time next year, I’ll be exploring new waters.
On to the painting…
This one has been a long time coming. One of my first attempts at painting was of a brown trout, and, man, did I struggle. I’ve gotten a little better control of color now, and I’m much happier with this result. I went for the warm colors of the colorful, small-stream browns when they wear yellow bellies and are sprinkled with red and black berries.
Now, here’s a question for you…. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get some shirts with these on them??
The cutties in Utah used to be big. Real big. We are talking 10lbs big. Long gone are those day, but there are some remaining strains of the ancestors of those big fish. I can just imagine James Prosek and his buddy, navigating the Utah landscape in an old pickup truck, searching for the unique strains of trout.
With only a few paintings left in this project, we stop to admire the Provo River Strain of the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout – a strain native to Utah.
I was a little too light on the par marks and could have gotten my red coloring of the lateral line better, but I’m happy with the fin.
I think I have four more set aside to paint. Then it is either on to Trout of the World, or time to look at something other than trout.
Have a great weekend!
I found a heap copy of James Prosek’s book “Trout of the World” on amazon. At a quick glance, I see some fun new additions to the painting project. I suppose I have to finish getting through the first book.
As a bonus, the used copy still had the free poster inside! Score!!