These little fish were inspired by the bountiful numbers found in my grandparents' lake. While scuba diving with these little sunfish, we'd be followed by packs that numbered near the hundreds on the edges of the weed beds. On one of my last dives there, one of these fish implanted itself in my mind.
I was surprised by two things with that single fish: it was humongous, and it was one of the most beautiful fish I'd ever seen. In the shallow water, its scales seemed to glow with metallic blues and golds, and the tips of its fins were streaked in silvery-white. It was captivating. I knew during that dive that I would have to try to capture a few of these fish in canvas.
Immediately after getting home, I started with concept sketches. I eagerly and excitedly painted these to keep preserve these freshwater beauties. I experimented over several days with layering colors into this painting for the weedbed and tried to integrate some of the same colors into the fish scales.
To paint the fish, I really wanted to capture the blues in the scales and offset these against their golden hues. While I love painting with acrylics, I used added layers into this painting with watercolors as well to really help add to the underwater feel. The blend between the acrylic and the watercolor paints adds such a wonderful effect to the canvas by blending with each layer.