Friday, August 23, 2013

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

After a great bike ride this morning - just to get the blood flowing - I cleared the morning dishes from the kitchen table and settled down to paint up a little trout.  For this one I took an  idea from a recent customer.  He told me that he would like to see me paint up an endangered Rio Grande Trout sometime in the future.  I have never painted a Rio Grande Trout so when I set up to paint up a trout I thought why the heck not.
  I figure that if I keep painting new trout eventually I will run out of species.  If I was a more studious artist I would catalog all the paintings I have done over the years and someday come up with a real nice trout book but as it is I simply paint up the fish - post it for all you to see - and then hopefully sell it off and fund my fly fishing addiction.

    For this painting I decided to use another base to paint on.  I have been doing a lot of illustrations lately and in doing so have fallen in love with the stark white of the Bristol illustration paper.  I love the smoothness of the surface and the brilliant contrast it gives to the work.  Looking at the weight of the paper I thought that if I used a light wash the brilliant whites of the paper would really make the colors of a fish like the Rio pop off the paper.
Since I was using illustration paper I decided that a sketch in archival ink would suit the painting well.  After I finished with that I mixed up some colors and worked extremely quick to lay down consistent color on a a paper I soon found out was very thirsty.  Because the nature of the paper I was forced to mix and drop color much faster than I would ever do with watercolor paper.  The result was a true watercolor effect of bright thin washes and unfinished, artsy brush stroked.  As expected, the brilliant white of the paper made the yellows and reds of the Rio Cutthroat Trout come to life.  I think you will see many more paintings in the future using this smooth paper.
Rio Grande Cut
Watercolor on (96lb acid free) Bristol Paper
Size - 10in X 14in
For the backdrop I decided to make the fish come off the paper even more with a little shadow and paint texture effects.
If you are interested in purchasing this work, send me an email inquiry and I'll send out the details.  For those of you new to my work and are wondering how much my paintings usually run - take a look at my site for comparison.  Most of my original paintings run between $100-$350 and come to you with their own mat ready for you to frame them up.


Mark Kautz said...

Awesome as usual.

cofisher said...

If you ever decide to do a trout book I would like to reserve the first copy...autographed of course.

MarkW said...

Nice job, I have always loved watercolors. The trout book sounds like an interesting project. Another suggestion would be to paint the Bergman collection of classic wet flies!

Unknown said...

Mark - Thanks again.

Howard and Mark - All I am waiting on is a publisher. I got some ideas that might make an interesting book for us fellow anglers out there. Think part travellog part Audubon part coffee table book.

I am going to look into that Bergman collection Mark. I like the idea of a new take on 80 year old collection of flies... I can already see potential.

MarkW said...

Joel - here's a link to photo's of the Bergman collection. Unfortunately it is not complete, yet. I thought the colorful flies would make nice subjects for a watercolor...

Unknown said...

Mark - Got it! Looking forward to this project. Now to pick a few dozen favorite flies.