Beluga Sturgeon - 120cm x 61cm acrylic on canvas
© Craig Bertram Smith 2017

Preliminary sketch

There are some strange fish on earth. One of the most bazaar are sturgeon. There are up to 29 species
of varying shapes and sizes in the family. Most impressive are beluga sturgeon, featured in this painting. Beluga are
highly valued due to the huge amount of caviar that it produces and are farmed in controlled environments in
parts of Europe and North America. I the wild they grow as large as 2500lb and are sadly
critically endangered due to damming of rivers, habitat destruction and overfishing.

I could not have hoped for a more interesting subject to paint, and I found a lot of reference showing their features.
Most fascinating are a close-ups on the head and "snout", where their sensory pits, nostrils, barbells and tiny eyes
all point to a low visibility habitat. I had to keep on reminding my self that this is a natural scene and not an illustration
for a science fiction story!