Fish and Wildlife Artist
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a painting of a sailfish jumping out of the water

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SOLD - Commission (65cm x 84cm (26" x 34") Pencil)
© Craig Bertram Smith
Please contact for enquiries or if you would like to get a commission painted.

Apart from being one of the fastest fish in the sea, sailfish are also strikingly beautiful. Although usually a maroon-brownish colour, once they become excited or agitated they can literally ‘switch on’ a palette of vivid, electric blues and violets that flash and ripple in light and dark shades across their body. It is thought that part of the reason they do this is to confuse prey.

In the painting I have aimed to illustrate this phenomenon, and so the jumping, agitated fish is shown ‘lit up’. Bands of vivid ultramarine along the fish’s flanks are interspersed with very subtle browns and tans that contrast strongly with the deep, metallic turquoise along its back. Interestingly, I discovered that the normally brownish-maroon dorsal fin shows up as ultramarine when backlit, which is how the dorsal fin is shown here, being partially illuminated from behind by the sun.

As this painting's primary purpose was to be used as a design for the owner's fishing boat, the colours were intentionally enhanced.

Preliminary Sketch

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