Saturday, May 28, 2005

Step by step angler fish

I work in Corel Painter7 and photoshop 5.5.
I started out sketching with one of the chalks in Painter 7 on a blue plain paper background [i use a wacom tablet and pen and sketch directly in painter7].
Then i created a new paper texture from a photo of tree bark that i took a couple of weeks back. The bark had impressed me since its a very unusual camouflage look with sort of scaly places - i thought it would be useful for some eventual fish painting

This is the first sketch of the angler fish using a white chalk on plain textured paper in Corel Painter 7

Texture added [bark paper]
Here I've added some of the bark paper texture with soft charcoal to the body of the fish .I used a messy string texture on the webbed part of the fins. I also added black areas to the background, inside the mouth and also used a variable airbrush to add particles of black and grey and blue to the back ground sea to add depth.

darker background more texture

Here i toned down the luminescence on the 'fishing rod' with a diffuse blur brush, added another layer of near black variable airbrush to the background

More detail; eye teeth and fins

I concentrated on the eye , teeth and fins here and added shadows behind the fins, and texture inside the mouth . I liked this as a stand alone fish but wanted more context and deep sea atmosphere so i decided to add some 'prey'. After some consideration i decided a prawn would work best of all - angler fish eat prawns, young fish and things that are attacted to the light from its fishing lure.

Dry brush prawn added on separate layer

I added a prawn on a separate layer using a dry ink brush at very low opacity. I wanted a slightly translucent look to the prawn.

Prawn in position attracted to luminosity

here is the prawn in position. I added a few highlights to the antennae of the prawn, which added to the translucency. I changed the glow on the lure to a more orange yellow to tone with the overall colour scheme.
I liked the positions and the two elements separately but i wanted a darker, gloomier, deep sea look to the overall piece.

Final image

In the final image i worked over the body of the fish with darker colours, using the same bark paper and alternately reversing the paper texture and using light and dark chalk brushes to add depth and highlights.
I then painted over the fins with a dry ink brush at low opacity to echo the teeth and added a few more highlights to the lure and prawn to bring the piece together and give more depth to the image.

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