Wednesday, February 18, 2009

EDM #166 - Draw a fish

This is one of those sketches that I would like to eventually make into a larger, colored pencil piece. It was fun to do and I love the movement - to me, it says that this fish is alive.
I teach a class on animal portraits in colored pencils, and this is one of the ideas that I try to emphasize to my students. Putting a living creature - animal, plant, or human - in their natural setting, gives the viewer a 'story' to follow.
If I had drawn this little guy as a side view, I think he would appear flat and lifeless. By putting this fish in water, and capturing that moment of leaping up to, what - finding an insect for breakfast, escaping a fisherman's hook, or maybe it's to impress that cute female fish that's swimming just outside of the picture?
That's the beauty of this - it can be any of these things and viewers get to make it their own personal experience that way. By capturing their attention with this natural movement, you're inviting them to create their own story. It doesn't matter to anyone how I saw it when I created it - that's my own personal experience. And that's one of the things I love about being an artist!


  1. I agree the movement is what excites me about your drawing. I also really like your lily. Nice blog!

  2. Nice movement in the fish...nice drawing!

  3. Yes, the movement makes him seem alive. I like to think he just spit out the fisherman's hook and is now laughing at him. You go little fishy! Great work!

  4. Beautiful! I love the movement in this drawing!

  5. Love this drawing, yes the movement really makes the piece. It would make an excellent painting.

  6. Thank-you so much for this inspiring post and drawing. It has given me a deeply personal idea for a "Draw a fish" challenge of my own...something I wouldn't have put together without your creativity here...such is the beauty of internet-interaction.
    I will let you know when I complete it!