Monday, February 17, 2014

Fish Lips

I took this photo a few years ago and have always intended to paint it.  It cracks me up every time I look at it.  Living in Orange County, plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements are fairly common.  To me, one of the most noticeable procedures is lip enhancement.  When I saw this photo, it made me think of people that take enhancing their lips a bit too far.  Is this the look they're trying to achieve?  The other fish looks a bit envious, don't you think?

I had so much fun painting this.  I started with a handmade piece of circular watercolor paper that has a beautiful deckle edge. It isn't sized so I sealed it with acrylic matte medium.  My intention was to use watercolor as my medium but I was having trouble building my darks so I switched to acrylic thinned to a watercolor consistency.  Painting the thin layers to build up the colors and seeing the image emerge was really enjoyable.

Fish Lips
Image size 21.5" Diameter


  1. I love this koi painting...SO unique and it looks like watercolor! Excellent!

  2. Thank you Hilda. It is very much like watercolor because I used the liquid acrylics and used watercolor techniques. The only thing missing is the wonderful sedimentary quality of the watercolor paints. I am thinking of adding a few last layers using watercolor so that I can get that feel.

  3. Fish have made me squeamish since I was a little girl (and still do). But these two look so beautiful! I love the colors and motion in the water itself. And I can think of a couple of actresses with lips just like that white fish's lips. Great work, Nancy!!

  4. Oh you crazy girl, all those enhanced lips are pouting!!! This is fun, they make such good subjects, always begging. I am intrigued at how you got such nice blending and soft edges with the acrylic. Still have much to learn in that media. As always you have a way with water and love all the color in it.

    1. Thank you Nelvia. The blending was easy because the paper was sealed so the paint didn't sink into the paper and I worked very wet so there was plenty of time to work with the paint.


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