What can I say, I like brightly colored things. Tropical fish are great subjects.
I am fortunate enough to be able to get my own photo reference images of numerous kinds of tropical fish with the permission of local sources.
I had two beautiful shots of these angelfish one of the black and silver and one of the gold. I adjusted their direction of movement and created a composite sketch of the two fish swimming past each other. The background was created with a few references, but was predominantly free handed.
For my tropical fish I like to use a method that combines traditional Chinese ink watercolor with western watercolor techniques. This creates a unique depth in the picture.
So from a value sketch you create a value painting with primary secondary and tertiary detail. The ink will show through the later added watercolor and even gouache so it makes a good framework for painting. Correct Value is two thirds of the battle in painting.
Road map coloration was added to 'AngelFish - 07/05'. This is very pale washes of watercolor to give some indication of what kind of colors are going to be needed in areas of major interest. From here we work the painting in normal western style, back to front and top to bottom. The finishing touches are the addition of small amounts of gouache watercolor to boost or highlight color in certain areas and to add any specialty paints such as metallics.
Metallic watercolor paints were sparsely blended on both angelfish.