Sunday, February 22, 2015

More Trout cards

The third trout pattern represents a Rainbow Trout.  These trout have olive-green backs with dark olive to black spots.  A bright pink stripe of color splashes along the mid-line of the body, fading to white on the abdomen.  The small clear scales of the fish produce an iridescence where the light reflects off of them, which I represented by lifting off some of the paint.

I was satisfied with the Brown and Rainbow Trout patterns I had painted, but the Brook Trout pattern didn't look quite correct.  After looking at several photos of Brook Trout I realized what fly fishers refer to as a "worm" pattern on the back and upper sides of the trout resembles patterns seen in some corals.  Also the spots and vermiculate pattern were actually yellow, not white or light olive color which lifting the wet paint had created in previous paintings.  To achieve the pattern seen on the fish in the photos I needed to use a different painting techniques then I had been using so far.

The first step was to lay down a blended wash of Aureolin Yellow across the top of the paper and Cadmium Red Light along the bottom.  The colors join and mix just below the middle of the page.  Before the paint dried I created several "white" spots in the middle and lower half of the painting by lifting off the wet paint.  After the paint dried I added a little Winsor Blue to the "white" spots in the middle to create the halos for the red spots I would add later.

Next I used masking fluid to cover the blue spots in the middle.  I then added additional masking to the upper part of the painting to create the "vermiculate and spot" pattern trout exhibit on their back and upper sides.  In the photo to the left I had already covered the blue spots and was half way through adding additional masking to finish the trout's upper pattern.

Once the masking had completely dried I wet the upper part of the paper using a light mist of clean water.  I added a graded wash composed of a mixture of Sap Green, Burnt Siena and Raw Umber to create the olive-green and brown of the trout's back and upper sides.  Once the final wash was dry I removed the masking to reveal the lighter spots and "worm" pattern.  The photo to the right was taken when I was halfway through removing the masking.

Masking fluid creates a sharp edge where the pigment of the wash could not penetrate the paper.  I softened these edges by adding clean water and lightly rubbing the edges.  The step was to use Rose Madder to add small red spots in the center of the light blue spots.  To the right is a photo of the finished painting.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Trout cards

I've been working on some drawings and watercolors of trout and flyfishing to use on cards for our Trout Unlimited chapter.

We have three common trout in this area of the country.  Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) and Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).  The first species is native to the area, and the last two were introduced.  All three are considered cold water sport fish.  The Wildlife Resources Division and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stock the streams with rainbow, brown and brook trout to keep up with sport fishing demands.

These trout exhibit wonderful patterns of colors, spots and wiggly lines.  After looking at several photos of trout I started working on some cards that just show the patterns.  Below are patterns on a Brook Trout and a Brown trout.