Drawing animals that are underwater can be a really exciting project. It really gives you an opportunity to think about the way the light reacts to the animal; the way the colours shine; the shape and movement of the water – it’s quite challenging.
In this project, I’ve grabbed the new Derwent Metallic Pan Set to test my skills in drawing a moving goldfish!
There are some testing skills ahead but firstly, using 300gsm watercolour paper and a Derwent Graphic Pencil, I drew the outline of the fish – this is the easy bit!
Whilst the piece was still wet, I kept applying the darker orange mixed with reds (again from my Inktense Paint Pan Set) whist still wet before darkening behind some of the scales and fading away to add depth.
Starting with lighter tones and layering up adds a different dimension when working with a water-activated product.
From here, I kept on adding darker tones on the body where I felt it needed more definition and form and darkened the lines on the tails again with the Metallic Blue which I found to be quite a subtle (but really impressive) effect.
Finally, for the fish at least, I used a Inktense Ink Black for the pupil whilst being mindful of the highlight in the eye using the palest metallic colour (Metallic Silver). The Metallics work really well here, as the water changes the property of both the light and the fish – adding an eye catching sheen!
For the background, I wetted the whole area and used the Metallic Blue making bold brushstrokes giving the impression of movement in the water. I felt it needed a bit more interest on the background, so by the tail I flicked a bit more, with Metallic Gold whilst wet and again when dry!