DF52 (2011) Pumpkinseed Revisited

A little look back to 2011 and the Drawing Fish 52 project. This was the fish from the second week of January. I’ve posted the text as well as the image. In the time since, this image went to a reader who had a passion for panfish. Growing up in Wisconsin, I fished not only for trout, salmon and steelhead, but also for warmwater species. I have some really fond memories of casting Hare’s Ear nymphs to the brushy shorelines of Northwoods lakes and feeling that immediate connection with pint-sized fury.


Drawing Fish 52 Pumpkinseed. Almost blew it on this one! I had practiced the general head structure a few times casually before sitting down to paint, and I’m glad that I did. This fish is quite different from trout and salmon in shape (and I’m not exactly known as a painter of panfish, so…). That said, I really do enjoy catching panfish, and when they look like this, it’s hard not to keep casting!

Notes: Went with my Moleskine Watercolour Notebook again. I just really like the paper in it (I’m going to buy one with a bigger sheet size this weekend). As with last week’s rainbow trout, I set up two water trays, opened my paints, and grabbed my favorite mechanical pencil. I got the sketch down OK, although I had to do some adjustments to get away from a too-stretched (read: too trouty) form. That sucked up a few minutes I didn’t really have. I got 20+ minutes in with the paint, and realized I was fussing with unnecessary details way too much and not really getting anywhere solid. So, I just took a breath and went in with a fatter brush and slabs of color straight off the palette. The quick sweeps of orange, the dabbed blues, and the “brushy” greens got me out of trouble. I was able to spend a couple of minutes adjusting contrast with some careful black and white. As with last week, I used all 30 minutes right to the buzzer. I may have to be more minimal or go towards the abstract to get much under 30 mins per fish in this project, I think.

Tech info: Mechanical pencil and watercolor on Moleskin Watercolour Notebook.

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