Breaking the Surface
COMMISSION - SOLD (70cm x 35cm (28" x 13") Acrylic on canvas)
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© Craig Bertram Smith
Experiencing a GT chasing a popper at the surface, for the first time, is a thrilling split second moment that leaves one temporarily stunned! I have seen this happen only a handful of times but it is still as vivid in my mind as the first day it happened. Translating this event in two dimension is where the challenge came in (I have outlined the full process in my blog Project GT). To assist in my visualization of the scene, I made a scaled version of a giant kingfish for the purpose of using it to capture underwater reference.
I have done a few paintings of GT over the years, but I wanted to go to the next level in showing authenticity of the details that are key to the painting success. My focus was on lighting and movement of both popper and predator. With very useful reference photos captured from the model placed underwater, I was able to then sketch it in a preliminary drawing.
With the concept cemented, the drawing was used as a blue print for the painting. Every application of paint was scrutinized to ensure that things were moving in the "right direction". Often with these type of paintings testing is required, then going over and testing again until the result is believable. In areas where I didn't have conclusive reference, I needed to let the imagination flow, then leaving the painting for a few days to re-visit it later with "fresh eyes". This does take patience but it is rewarding in the end.