Monday, 20 June 2011

Big Pond

In the monthly challenge on the Painting Friends forum, we had to paint koi this month.

Year of Painting (YOP)
Number Three, Koi.

Personal Goals for this Painting:

Firstly I set some goals for my thumbnail sketches.
These were :
  1. do a thumbnail showing the scene as is
  2. on the next two thumbs, change up the techniques
  3. on the last thumbnail, keep the focal point, but be completely off the wall in the scenery
  4. Choose which one of these thumbnails to paint.

Choosing (3), the choices for the painting were to try to
a) use sea salt for an interesting effect

So, here's the painting: Big Pond

What works and what could be improved.

I love the effect and the fish. I honestly don't think I'd change anything.

Challenges Faced

The challenge in painting this was to leave it alone and just sit back and let the salt work.

Share Personal Goals and whether you felt you Met Them

My goals were to make the four thumbs again, pick a technique and run with it., to create a loose interpretation of koi.

How I created the Painting.

I created the painting by painting the fish first. When they were dry, I put water over the whole , touching in a few colours to make the water interesting. Then I sprinkled sea salt over the wash. Walked away and let it dry completely.
When dry, I brushed the salt off – and there was the finished painting.

Size of Painting, Medium, Palette and Brushes.

The painting is on Arches Aquarelle Rough 140lb and is quarter sheet. 15”x 11”
The medium is pencil for the under drawing and watercolour for the painting. W&N artists quality .
Palette colours used : French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow
Brush: Squirrel Mop. Kolinsky number 12
Hope you've enjoyed this look into the process of making a painting :) xx
This- and all my paintings - can be viewed on my gallery site HERE


  1. Wow! Great painting! I love the salt effect, good choice!

  2. Pat, this is really beautiful, and you made it so much more interesting by creating those circles.
    Using salt isn't for sure the garantee of a good result, but in this case it really turned out well. Love it! xx

  3. I love the effect of the fish too. Great job Pat! I love the subject and the technique you have used too :0)

  4. Thanks, Jane. You are right of course, salt doesn't guarantee a good result.... but this one came out well :)

    Thanks, Sandra.
    I'm pretty happy with it :) xx

  5. Hi, Pat!
    You made a masterpiece!! Salt worked very effectively. Colours and composition, all is great. Congratulations!!
    Cheers, Sadami

  6. Thanks, Sadami!
    So glad you like it :) xx

  7. Pero que bueno todo el tutorial de como creaste tu pintura.
    Me encantó.
    Sinceramente yo no cambiaria nada de nada,los peces geniales y dan la impresión de movimiento,el agua me encanta,puedo ver como se mueven.
    Un besazo.

  8. It has a flow as a whole that is really appealing Pat, good work.
    Now woman, you gotta take that 4th thumb to the next level and do something supercool and surreal with it! pleasepleasepleaseplease

  9. Very well-described process, Pat. Thank you.

  10. Thanks, Conchi. Glad you enjoyed the process, and the final painting. The water is pretty neat, eh? :) xx

    Ok, Teresa, you've said it, I shall do it! One surreal kite coming up .. :lol:

    Glad you liked it, Kathryn xx

  11. Me and mom love this one, moms into fish we have a big pond, you have done a lovely job.
    Give a kiss to Missy from us
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

  12. Brilliant Pat. You see them "almost" swim. Much movement is in the picture.

  13. I really like it. How interesting that you used sea salt. It made for a great effect

  14. Cheers, George! Glad you and mum loved it - and consider Missy kissed xx

    Thanks, Renske - there is a feeling of movement, for sure :) xx

    Thanks, Ann. Salt gives a lovely effect.. one of my favourite little helpers :) xx

  15. Fabulous effects and gorgeous colours, Pat! Do you keep Koi? Not my choice for a pet - prefer the more tactile critters like dogs and cats myself. I was out in Tokyo with my job ages ago and got to see the massive Koi that swim in the moat around the Imperial Palace :)

  16. I love your painting Pat. It's got great movement with the fish and water swirling around. You are so creative and never afraid to do something new, I love that.
    Thank you for your visit today.
    June xx

  17. Glad you like it Michael :)
    I don't keep koi, but I do have an indoor tank - in which I keep coldwater ryukin, fantails, oranda and black moors.
    Wow - you were at the Imperial Palace? I hope you got photos!

    Thanks, June. It does have a nice feeling of movement - that's what I like to see with fish :)
    And thanks for the compliment on me trying new things :) xx

  18. Beautiful watercolor, Pat. I like the composition, the movement and the very nice salt effect. Congratulations!

  19. I agree with you Pat, I wouldn't change a think. It's gorgeous! Interesting reading your thoughts on your process and the results too. :)

  20. Hola Pat, me encantan esos peces, reproduces tan bien su movimiento, el efecto con la sal aumenta la belleza de la imagen, es bellísima por su sencillez y colorido.

  21. These Koi are beautiful Pat, the fusion of brilliant colors very well done.
    I never used the technique with salt, the effect is amazing.
    A big hug

  22. Very beautiful effects! Arianna

  23. Hi Pat
    I love your fish. The effect of salt is fantastic. I've tried it once but got not so good as you did. You did it very well.


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