Fish and Wildlife Artist
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a painting of a large mouth bass chasing a crank bait with roots in the background

Crank it Up

R 650.00

SOLD, Commissioned (74cm x 104cm (28" x 40") Acrylic on board)
Please contact craig@wildlifeartist.co.za for enquiries
© Craig Bertram Smith

Observing bass habitat, such as flooded timber, I am inspired imagining a fantastical world of claw-like roots, dark holes and big ambush predators. The mysterious murky depths offer so many hiding places for these large-mouthed hunters. Suspended like ghosts, bass hover in structure, perfectly camouflaged and waiting for the ideal moment to pounce. In this case, Rapala's DT-6 crawdad pattern is just too irresistible to ignore.

While painting, I had to visualize an aquatic habitat with gnarled roots and branches that would suggest the perfect territory for a large bass. A challenging project, as freshwater habitat such as this has a muted colour pallet with subtle colour variations. I ended up testing different possible background ideas and ultimately re-painting over to try other ideas. After many initial attempts, I finally chose flat open water just past the roots which defined the shape of the fish and the structure. It was satisfying when I finally realized that the painting was coming "alive" with a balance of texture and calm. the visual path flows through the painting as the focus is initially drawn to the bass and lure, moving down to the roots and then past to the murky distance.



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