Continuing my work on new fish for this blog and this artist I decided today to go with a Spanish Mackerel. A few years ago while fishing the coast of Florida with a simple bait caster, I was lucky enough to hook into a small mackerel and had a great time hauling it in. Pound for pound, these torpedo like fish put up a great fight and although I released it shortly after I landed it, I am told that even with the abundance of oils (Also good for you) they are a down right tasty meal.
As always I started out with a basic sketch of the subject done in light pencil. Once I have established all the lines I want for the painting I then add slightly deeper pencil marks and gently erase all the light sketch marks outside of the established subject.
Adding a bit of background color has been a recent development in a lot of my more recent paintings and for this one it is no different. Exploring new background ideas is a great way I have found of not only adding more color to the painting but also a way to make a more dynamic piece of art. For this one I decided to use a simple band of color across the bottom of the painting.
Since I was only using a limited palette for this work I also used this band of color as a reference for how the colors would blend on the paper. The most colorful Mackerels that I have come across fresh out of the ocean display a brightly colored aqua blue and green back so I dropped a bit of Phthalo Blue and Green with a light yellow to set off the distinctive Spanish Mackerel yellow spots I would eventually add to the fish. Using a bit of splatter technique is also a recent addition to my works that I have come to love. For this one I just left a hint of splatter below the band with the idea that less is more.
After that I added the colors for the Spanish Mackerel and then all that's left is the details. After adding a bid of contrast with a deep black mixed with the greens and blues I painted in the eye and called this piece done.
I know that a whole lot of you trout anglers up in the rain soaked Rockies may not ever have a chance to hook into some salt species, and as such might not give two bits about a Mackerel. But if you are striving to be a well rounded angler you will not dismiss these fish. These toothy missiles are worthy fish to hook for any angler.
Watercolor On Bristol Paper
Size - 20in. x 12in.
Not Currently For Sale
For me I cant wait to get back down to the coast and hook into any salt species. Yesterday I took delivery of a new 8wt mid-fast action fly rod perfect for bass and coastal fishing and even though I cant test it out on the SC red fish, I do plan on heading out this afternoon for a bit of bass fishing.
That is stellar!!!
Very impressive, Joel. Never been in a situation to stalk the Mackerel. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks guys. Glad you liked it.
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