View Full Version : My latest endeavor..C&C Please

03-24-2005, 09:52 PM
Hey all,

I have no idea how many hours this took or how many layers there are..but I was beginning to think I'd never finish..But finally it is!! Do you see any glaring problems before I sign it and spray with fixative? It's the third in a fish series I'm doing..(the others are watercolor). It looks more blue here. In real life, there's some green, but this is the closest likeness I could get. This was really fun.
It's 7.5 X 9.5 on Stonehenge white using prismacolors.


Thanks for looking.

03-25-2005, 02:14 AM

This is ever so nice! I really like your fish! What kind is it please? I know nothing about fishes, except how to prepare for a plate....hmmmm.

When I saw this little guy, I thought you must see Elizabeth Patterson's site. Not the lady running for town council in CA, but the artist who lives in CA.

Here's her site and the page for her fishes. You might enjoy them. I know I am enjoying yours.



03-25-2005, 06:35 AM
I really like this little guy peeping out from the grasses.

The only comment I have is that the tips of grasses behind the fish seem to be coming forward a little. I wonder if it would help for the white tips to be a little darker. Maybe someone who has a little more experience with color could give some more specific advice.


03-25-2005, 10:15 AM
Nice fish! Wish the resolution could be a little better so that we could see the detail a bit more. Good job!

03-25-2005, 10:39 AM
Thanks Belinda, Anne and Louise!

Thanks for the link Louise..I actually saw this artist's site when I was in the middle of doing this piece..Of course, hers are much better than mine, but it helped me just to see hers. I dont know what kind of fish it is either..I'm very drawn to tropical fish..

The colors are much richer IRL, but trying to get them exactly right on the scan is really hard.

Anne, I see what you mean about the grasses behind the fish..I'll think about that..The tips could probably use some variation in color. Thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks again for looking,

03-25-2005, 10:48 AM
Great fish JoAnn! I think the colors are great and the grass? behind the fish are well done. I think the fishy could use a litle more shading though - to make it a little more 3d. Do you have the reference handy?

Nicole :)

03-25-2005, 11:17 AM
Thank you Nicole!

Yes, here is the ref. Then a better scan of mine. (but not much better. it really does look better in real life.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Mar-2005/24406-fish3ref.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Mar-2005/24406-fish3.jpg

But, I see what you mean about the fish needing to have more shadow. It also needs more color I think.


03-25-2005, 11:32 AM
Hmmm it isn't more shadowed in the ref - but I think I would just extend the shadow near the plant. It will make it look like it is inside it more. Just mho though!

nicole :)

03-25-2005, 11:42 AM
Thanks Nicole, I'm gonna just look at it for a few days before I decide what, if anything, I do with it.

03-25-2005, 12:05 PM

Do not think of EP's fishes as 'better than' yours. Yours are different and unique. They are of value, and not necessarrily less value than EPs. She just has a more 'finished' finish to hers. Its easy to compare one's work to a truly accomplished artist and find ours wanting. don't do that. This is just a stop along your journey and where you are right now. EP was here too at one point. You are jsut putting one foot in front of the other. You will be at a different point later on down the road too. WC is a way we can wave to each other along the way and spur each other on to greater accomplishments in less time. :wave:

I think that a stronger shadow beneath the fish would 'seat' it better in the work, and at the same time provide a better dimensionality to the work.

My question about something like this to all you more exprienced CP artists is this. In a work done on black paper, is it considered mixed media if you underpaint the brightly colored areas with white acrylic first and then apply CP?? Is that just changing the support? Or does it make it a mixed media? Or am I wondering about stupid things? I had this question in my mind before JoAnn did this piece, so this critique brings this question of mine to the forum.

Jeffrey, Dan Reed, Nicole, Carol, Robin, Katherine, Kathy, anybody else, could you weigh in on this?? I would like some input to figure this question out. Does acrylic underpainting automatically change the category of the piece, or just change the support??

03-25-2005, 12:34 PM
Thanks Weezy for your support. I'm complimented if you think this piece was done on black paper...It wasnt.. the bg is layers of all the colors used in the painting. You're right, I'm just putting one foot in front of the other, and I know for certain that each one I do is better than the one before. I really try to only compare myself to me.

I think that any time you add another medium to a painting, i.e., acrylic to cp, it is then considered mixed media. All you experienced artists out there correct me if I'm wrong...But, I think using colored paper is not considered mixed media because the paper is the support. Right? These are not stupid questions at all!


03-25-2005, 12:45 PM
I asked this question a while ago and there doesn't seem to be any cut and dry answer, except if you are entering in the CPSA main show, when it has to be one hundred percent cp.

IMO, and it's strictly mine! I think that underpaintings don't count as mixed. If you have acrylic showing on the final layer, I'd call it mixed.

My dogs are now mixed, b/c you see both pastel and cp...the skies, for instance, are all pastel.

Many oil painters use an acrylic underpainting, and call the final work "oils".

BTW...VERY NICE FISH! You improved on your ref, imo. The face of your fish is much more defined, and I like that so much better!! Robin

bearded bob
03-25-2005, 12:54 PM
Adding acrylic in this way would IMHO make it mixed media work. It would make it eligible for the Explore it! CPSA exhibition, but not the main one. It is a tricky area though Louise, I know what you are getting at. there are loads of artists, for example, who create their own coloured support by soaking in watercolour first. The CPSA - and the UKCPS - would also consider this mixed media. Many artists would not.

Joanne, that is a lovely fish, but I agree with people who have said there needs to be more contrast yet. I would work on the shadows behind the fish, and at the base of all of the fronds. Nearly there, but a bit more tonal range would help.

03-25-2005, 01:01 PM
Lousie - Right - for example I found out that you can enter a piece into the cpsa main show on ready made art spectrum colourfix paper (which has a coating of acrylic on it) but you can't buy the primer and paint it on yourself. :)

03-25-2005, 01:02 PM
Great work, JoAnn! :clap:

Lovely aquatic plants with a lot of movement in the water... I also think it would improve if you "tuck in" the fish among them, not only by darkening the back of it, but also lightening it up a bit towards the front. A complementary blue would probably work to make it darker (test it aside first!!!) Darkening more the "root" parts of the branches will give the whole thing an added dimension... Beautiful blue/greens you have used throuhgout in them!

When scanning, I find doing it at 300dpi in TIF format first, lowering the resolution to 72, sharpening it a bit, and changing it to JPG, never requires colour adjusting. Maybe just increasing the contrast a wee bit. It's also a great idea to always save a Master Scan of all your work at 300dpi in TIF format, and put it in a CD, of course! It prints well, and you can make alterations from it any time.

I also understand that anything that goes on top of the ground, if it is not CP, makes it mixed media. The exception being water-soluble CP, since it is CP with water, or using any kind of solvent on wax/oil CP.

03-25-2005, 01:15 PM
Hi weezy,

To answer your your question about working on black supports with CP, I do a lot on black supports because I love the way the colors pop on it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the black wiil affect some colors, and change the hue when applied on the black. Yellow is notorius for this, it will go green every time. What I do when I want to get that yellow, or any other color for that matter, I either lay donw various grays to establish my values, or I lay down white, very thick, then a color like yellow on top off the white, and you will have less hue changes.

I just offer this in case you want to try something other than acrylic.


03-25-2005, 05:09 PM
JoAnn: looks like you have definitely found Nemo! I can not add any more to what the others have already said but do want you to know I think it's great :cat: Kevin

03-26-2005, 09:59 AM
Thanks Kevin, Ron, Bob, Robin and Frida.

Frida, thanks for the tip on scanning. I will do that from now on. Most of the time, I take pics with the camera, but if they're small like this one, I scan..I keep copies of all my work on a CD, but I didnt think to save in higher resolution on a disk in case I want to print it later...Good thinking! Thanks for calling it to my attention.

I tried adding some darks under the fish and at the root of the fronds yesterday and the previous layers started flaking off. What causes this? I had sprayed with workable fixative the day before. Could it be that my fixative is too old?? (I've had it for several years)...I've never had this happen before...maybe I've just saturated the paper? What do you think?

Hey, thanks to everyone for all your help on this! I really appreciate it.