House of Dancing Colours

From the Artist:I paint a lot of Koi fish and painting them from this angle really helped me to understand the shape of the fish, its more robust than I thought. Koi fanatics however, don’t rate this picture much, you don’t get to see the bonny colour patterns on top! (The Japanese phrase means “House of Dancing Colours”.)

From the Painting Guide:You may not get patterns on top in real life, but that’s one of the joys of painting — as the artist you get to change reality if you want to!
Things to Consider When Looking at This Painting:
Composition:Look at where the fish is positioned on the canvas, how the curve of its body and tail fin pulls you eye along. Look at how the splashes of color demand your attention and pull your eye up towards the fish’s eye and mouth.

Notice the tiny bit of red just at the tail fin — cover it up with your finger and you’ll see how powerful and important this is as a visual element to both attract your eye and to unify the painting. It also creates the suggestion that the red continues the length of the fish’s body on the top where you can’t see it.

Background:I think the background is fabulous; the green-blues give me a powerful sense of water and, being dark in tone, let the light tones of the fish really glow and dominate. There’s a sense of movement in it, from both the brushwork and the hints of pond weed.

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