Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Redfish Painting

    The Redfish.  For those that haven't caught one of these on a fly rod, you are missing out.  I am not a dedicated redfish angler by any stretch.  The only one I have caught was a silver specimen on a fly rod (a pitiful 6w).  It gave one heck of a fight and I have to tell you that it deserves a place on you bucket list.
 I haven't picked up a paint brush in quite some time but when I found myself with a morning free I picked up a pad of paper and started to sketch out my next painting.  For this go around I chose a fish I have never painted before.  The redfish or red drum is a distinctive tidal fish that has been an up and coming fish in the sport fishing world for many years.  Its easily identifiable black spot on its tail is a sight that anglers that hunt this fish drool over.  Quite often these fish are seen feeding in the shallows of a tidal area, their spotted fin the only thing visible above the surface as they hunt crabs and shrimp.

    I took a little more of a quick approach to this painting because after such a long hiatus from the bush I really just needed to get something on paper.
Like most of my works I started with a simple form of a redfish and elaborated on the design as I went along.  My original concept for this had the fin of the redfish completely hidden from sight.  Once I stood back and looked at that idea I quickly erased it and re-did the sketch with the black spot clearly in view.
  One thing I have also been doing on a lot of my more recent works is the addition of white as a highlight.  For a fish with an abundant amount of scales, this feature is almost an immediate requirement.
  I also made a conscience decision to add a darker back on this fish as I went along.  Of all the red drum I have seen, I think that the deep colored fish are the best looking of the bunch.  The silver backs are still a beautiful fish to hold in your hand but when it comes to laying pigment on paper the deep browns, yellows and reds of the darker fish just translate better.
  For all of you that are lucky enough to chase these beauties on a regular basis, I am very jealous   And as a side note, if any of you on the SC coast ever need an extra deck hand while fishing the tidal waters and beaches - just shoot me and email.  I will make the drive!


4 comments:

Kevin Frank said...

Boy are you going to like my post tomorrow. Awesome painting by the way.

Mark Kautz-Shoreman said...

I've come across a lot of different fish during my few years in the South, but not that one. I'd be more than glad to give one a shot on my pitiful 6wt.

Howard Levett said...

Unfortunately we don't have redfish in Colorado so I'll just have to enjoy yours. Thanks my friend.

Joel D said...

Kevin - I am green with envy. looks like a great day.
Mark - It will give you a fight. Fishing for these reds has exploded over the past few years. Its like they are made for a flyrod.
Howard - like the westslope cutthroat - one needs to travel to get them but that only makes catching them that much more special.