Gone Fishing – Watercolour Discus Fish

My reference photo
My reference photo
"Daring Discus" 8x10 inch archival print $25
“Daring Discus” 8×10 inch archival print $25

Just the other day I was asked to paint some fishes of the tropical kind. Not a commission as such just a broad request.

So I scurried off to my image bank and fished (sorry) out some lovely Discus, Angel and Tang fish images.

My 3 pairs of fish that I am about to paint
My 3 pairs of fish that I am about to paint

I was spoilt for choice but settled on 3 pairs.

The first I attempted are these stunning Discus fish. They have a flattened disc (obviously) – like shape and ravishing colours.

My trial fish - no detail - just washes
My trial fish – no detail – just washes

I did a small trial first and then rolled up my sleeves and cut out BIG paper.

Fishes everywhere
Fishes everywhere

Now for me BIG is 10×12 inches. I have been an 8×10 inch girl for almost 3 years now and maybe it is Spring but I feel like branching (sorry) out and up-scaling things!

So here they are – a few in progress shots and then the final things.

I loved wetting the paper and banging in bright bold washes and letting them run!

I drew the second fish in reverse and changed him a bit so that he wasn’t exactly like his brother.

"Dashing Discus" print 8x10 inches on archival paper
“Dashing Discus” print 8×10 inches on archival paper

I am onto Angel fish next – their triangular shapes and tapering fins and tendrils captivate me…

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4 thoughts on “Gone Fishing – Watercolour Discus Fish

  1. Just “fishing” (sorry) for compliments with your beautiful discus fish and now that you have one under your belt I’m sure you no longer feel like a “fish out of water” (sorry). So be an “angel” (sorry) and post it quickly or cut-bait (sorry) … love the great colors and personality in the eye! Beautiful job and brightens up the day as it has been cold, damp and ugly here all day! Thanks for posting, Alison. BTW, love your poppy tutorial as well and will give it a go in the next day or so!

  2. I really like the fish! I’ve been reading a book by Julie Collins about dropping in color on a wet surface and letting it run to get the look you want on flowers. Getting “blooms” and spots just adds to the texture and beauty. I like what you did on this guy. Can’t wait to see the Angel fish!

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