Ques­tion I need a hand with paint­ing trop­i­cal fish. What ad­vice can you give? Nest Of Vipers, Wales

An­swer

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artist Q&a -

Viktoria replies

My most im­por­tant tip is to sit down and gather some ref­er­ences of trop­i­cal fish. Many of the trop­i­cal fish that we know of live on the world’s co­ral reefs, so Googling “The Great Bar­rier Reef”, for ex­am­ple, should be suf­fi­cient to get you started on gath­er­ing in­spi­ra­tional ma­te­rial.

You’ll no­tice from the pho­tos that many trop­i­cal fish are, of course, colourful. My sec­ond tip is there­fore to have your fish swim­ming in fairly bright, happy colours.

Trop­i­cal fish of­ten fea­ture di­verse pat­terns across their bod­ies, which you can use as in­spi­ra­tion to cre­ate some cool fan­tasy pat­terns of your own. In ad­di­tion, keep in mind the of­ten flat, leaf-shaped bod­ies of the fish. Us­ing that shape in your de­sign would make the fish look like they be­long in more trop­i­cal wa­ters.

My third and fi­nal tip for you is not to make your fish de­sign overly com­pli­cated. To make some­thing fan­tasy doesn’t mean you have to go in­sane with the de­sign and cre­ate some­thing so ab­stract no one but you un­der­stands it.

It’s al­ways a good idea to base your fan­tasy de­sign in re­al­ity – es­pe­cially with an­i­mals – and then throw in a mix of el­e­ments that your viewer might not have ex­pected to see. As an ex­am­ple, why not give your fish wings? Or a uni­corn horn? Or make it a fairy fish? Or just about any­thing else that tick­les your imag­i­na­tion. Dig­i­tal paint­ing en­ables you to try out all these pos­si­bil­i­ties, and more!

I bring a fan­tasy touch to the fish with sim­ple but ef­fec­tive ideas, such

as fairy wings and a uni­corn horn.

Ar tist ’s s ec ret

Stay z oomed out

in the early Avoid zoom­ing in too much

Z oom in stages of colour­ing in Pho­to­shop.

the big pic­ture. and you risk los­ing sight of

to see whether Z oomed out, it’s much eas­ier

or not. the colours work well to­gether

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