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River Dog - (Copyright Craig Bertram Smith-2012)
Acrylic on Board (85cm X 95cm)
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Africa, wild and untamed, possesses some of the world’s most ferocious predators. Its rivers in particular are full of fearsome beasts such as crocodile, hippopotamus and the infamous tigerfish. This predator is without doubt the fiercest fresh water
fish in appearance and character. The "water dog", as its scientific name suggests, is the ultimate river predator: Razor-sharp teeth perfectly designed for disabling it's prey, powerful streamlined body, efficient sickle shaped fins and of course large eyes for hunting. By holding or patrolling around structure they wait for an opportune moment. Their pounce is fast and brutal as shown in the painting
where bulldog fish are caught unawares.

Apart from its obvious characteristics, the tiger is a fascinating fish. Their colours vary from place to place, but is mostly strong with deep red fins and dark stripes, so it was only obvious that I wanted to portray this intensity in the painting. What interested me the most was the intricacies of the fins, scales and head detail, which I put of a lot of study into. I wanted to illustrate its true nature and the essence of its character interacting with the environment. This continuity was important to connect the habitat to the fish in a way that best explains its character.

 

 

 

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