Date: January 2, 2008
In this final image, the blue/green background has now been painted in and the painting is complete apart from a few final touches. Doing the background last was necessary for a number of reasons, but it made the ending much more difficult – trying to paint around the fish and yet keep the paint wet in order to provide a relatively uniform background. It took several days, with a lot of wet steps, and a lot of waiting for it to dry in order to see what the colours had become. But if I’d done it the other way around – background first, fish second – I would still have had to paint around the outlines of the fish, and I probably would have had murkier colours to the fish.
In order to make it completely realistic, I could have painted a milky white wash over the entire painting, blurring out some aspects of each of the creatures. That’s because even with clear Hawaiian waters, the fish aren’t quite so crisp and clear. But I chose not to do so. I preferred it the way it was, and left it at that.