A Dubious Character

Susan Clare
A Dubious Character
  • Media: Acrylics
  • Subject: Animal or Wildlife
  • Size: 20 x 50
  • Surface: Canvas
  • Price: £0.00

When I give talks on 'Painting my Underwater Life' one of my favourite fish to discuss is the Lionfish. Looking so impressive with a fiendish beauty: an array of poisonous spines, it is not surprising that other fish give them a wide berth. A voracious predator, the Lionfish gobbles up the young of most species of reef fish, to devastating effect. The Lionfish belongs in the Pacific, so as an invasive species, with no natural predators, it has this damaging effect on the Caribbean reefs. A good way to help this situation is to make sure you ask for Lionfish the next time you buy seafood, as they taste great on a plate. I wanted to focus on the ugly face and jaw of the fish, rather than the 'pretty' spines, so I cropped the image in a close-up vertical format. To get the feel of underwater, I textured the canvas with gesso and scraped ridges with a piece of old credit card. These ridges help to catch the light and look like underwater ripples. I kept the reef background out of focus, to get a sense of depth. The fish was completed with simple brushwork and a large flat brush, focussing on the shifty-looking eye: a dubious character indeed!

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