Saturday, July 12, 2014

Painting Bass

  I painted this last week as I was watching my kids mess around in the small 2 foot deep pool that has occupied a corner of my yard for the last two months.  It was a typical warm day with the kind of weather that makes bass run for deep water so painting them leaping for a streamer was about as close as I was going to come to catching one.
  This is not the first bass I have painted nor will it be the last but it is one of the better ones.  I'm not there completely but I could pick apart my own work for days and point out all the little things that I would have liked to do different.  Unfortunately, or more appropriately, due to the fact watercolors are a very unforgiving medium, I have come to the realization that to try to control it to much is to loose the essence that makes a watercolor painting .... well, a watercolor.  I've adopted the feeling that the little nuances of watercolor is what makes the painting a piece of art and not a photograph.
   Unlike trout, I find bass a much harder species to paint.  The colors are more muted and the variation in tones make shading and detailing the bass a rather daunting task for me. Try doing it all outside with 90 degree heat that dries out wet paper faster than the IRS can loose important emails and you have quite a challenge on your hands.        
    Typically I see the popular bass portraits out there being more about the surrounding scenery than about the actual fish.  You always see a bass guy with a big sporty boat yanking on a bent rod in the the background with a leaping bass breaking the surface.  The bass usually is secondary in the piece even though rightfully it should be first.
  I'm not saying that they aren't Really well done, because often they are masterpieces, but for me I love the main, if not only, focus to be on the fish.
I call this:

July Bass
(original right?)
roughly 9x12ish
watercolor on paper

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Bill Trussell said...

Outstanding work with realistic colors. Thanks for sharing

cofisher said...

I know that art isn't your day job, but it ought to be. You just keep amazing me Joel. Thanks!

Daniel said...

I love how alive the bass looks. Great job mimicking movement.

CARF said...

Wow, you are an incredible artist.

Unknown said...

thanks guys, your encouragement keeps me focused on improving my skills.

Anonymous said...

Grandpa would have liked to have seen this painting!