Special K
02-25-2019, 08:04 PM
THE EVOLUTION OF A BLACK CRAPPIE PAINTING - In watercolor, gouache, acrylic paints and colored pencils.

Step 1: In this painting I did not sketch out a drawing, but, started by making or "blocking in" what's called the underpainting. The underpainting is typically a monochromatic rough sketch that serves to kinda' "jump-start" the creative process by allowing you to lay out the rough foundation for all of the elements of the painting, as you are seeing it in your mind. I have learned to use an underpainting when painting, and (to me) the difference is very noticeable.


I have found that underpainting allows me to create a contrast statement when I establish (both) the darker and lighter areas of the image as well as the structural elements of the crappie. Another useful function of the underpainting is so that when the painting is done, the base colors seen in this figure will “come through” and can be seen throughout the painting. In this step I used flesh tones mixed with hints burnt sienna and yellow ochre to lay in the rough shape, posture and action values that I wanted to portray in this painting.

Step Two: Since I was satisfied with the overall shape and value "contrast-wise" in step one; I next begin "roughing in" the border lines, details and contrast and laying in some of “local” colors on top of the underpainting like the black and umber tones in the fins, the golden green to the main body and pale white hues in the belly and around the gills and head. "Local color" is the term used to describe the colors as they exist in nature or reality, such as, we know as the colors inherent in the black crappie species.


Step Three: Next, I added darker shades and ray lines to the fins and tail; a layer of pink tones in the head or face area; and another layer of pearl essence to the gill area. After these areas dried, I used fine detail brushes and colored pencils to add scales and line details around those areas and also to darken the inside of the mouth to try to give it the shading and three dimensional depth that I thought an open mouth needed. Next, I moved to the underbelly area and tried to give it the roundness and depth that it should have in this area dimensionally by using varying shades of gray colored pencil for a gradient type of shading.


Step Four: In this step I added all of the mottling, shading and highlights to the entire fish. Then I added the eye base color (lemon yellow) and added the dark shading and highlights in and around the eye. Then I added to dark pupil portion using ebony black gouache and dropped in the highlights to the eye (once it dried) with the titanium white. I also defined the rays in her fins and tail using detail brushes and colored pencils. I added some more pink and purple to the gills and added lots of highlights using titanium white gouache and to the belly mid back, tail and fins. This is when the painting really begins to "pop" or "take shape".


Step Five: In this step I selected a grunge pattern as sort of an abstract background using the colors that I thought would best compliment the colors in the crappie and I dropped in a few pieces of monotone gray vegetation in the foreground. Lastly, I added the fishing line and custom made jig (made by some of the awesome jig-tiers here on the CDC forum) falling into the strike zone.


The elapsed time for this painting was about 10 hours spread over the course of one very rainy week... that I'm sure had many of you lookin' for something to do too. I tried to keep this as short as possible, hoping not to bore any of you to death, but I thought at least some of you might enjoy hearing a little more about what goes into the creation process itself.

Please take a moment to let me know what you think of the piece. I love to hear your thoughts and constructive criticisms.

May God Bless You & Yours,

02-25-2019, 08:17 PM
Incredible. Absolutely love it.

02-25-2019, 08:25 PM

02-25-2019, 08:40 PM
Crappie looks 3D and the plants and background are awesome. I would have it appraised and insured. [emoji106][emoji3][emoji226]

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02-25-2019, 08:40 PM
Its awsum....really came alive in step 4...then really popped in step 5. it would be a mess if I tried to do one. You truly have amazing talent. Thanks for shareing how its done.

02-25-2019, 08:47 PM
Now that looks good. I have an art background and know what it takes and you have it. Amazing work my friend.

02-25-2019, 08:51 PM
Some folks have all the talent,,,,,i can't even draw,a gummy, polky

02-25-2019, 08:59 PM
You're very talented. I like the paintings but I still prefer the pencil sketches.

02-25-2019, 08:59 PM
You are a very amazing individual. That is awesome!

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02-25-2019, 09:23 PM
Thank you for sharing your creation journey. That is awesome and you are definitely gifted.

02-26-2019, 12:06 AM
What's with the greenish fin ?? Shouldn't it be almost transparent, other than the spine veins ..... and more darker at the point where it comes out of the side of the fish ?? And shouldn't the coloration of the fish be more "greenish", and less bronze-ish ??

Other than that ... I sure wish that was MY jig that it's about to inhale :biggrin

02-26-2019, 05:15 AM

02-26-2019, 05:59 AM
Awesome your very talented

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02-26-2019, 06:37 AM
Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks! :)

02-26-2019, 06:42 AM
one thing for certain in the few years I have been hanging around this place your art is improving tremendously
I like the painting and think its quite a nice composition
and or it could be just my vision as I get older don't you know :Rofl

02-26-2019, 06:48 AM
Amazing gift you have.

02-26-2019, 07:27 AM
Another excellent painting that is alive!
Thanks for sharing Wayne!

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02-26-2019, 08:02 AM
Outstanding job!

02-26-2019, 08:23 AM
Brother Wayne,

I am always amazed and impressed with your God given gift of art talent, your humility and your desire to help and encourage others. In my humble opinion, this painting of a crappie eating a lure, is one of your finest that I have seen. Although God wants you to enjoy what He's given you, He didnít gift you with talents just for your own benefit. God didnít bless any of us with a talent or skill simply so we could look awesome or earn lots of cash. If we want to hear Him say, ďWell done good and faithful servantĒ when we meet Him in heaven, then we must faithfully use our talents the way He wants us to. Colossians 3: 23-24 ďAnd whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." I especially enjoy how you taught, in simple steps, how you did this masterpiece. Well done my friend. Well done.


02-26-2019, 10:10 AM
Very very nice work!

Special K
02-26-2019, 12:15 PM
Thanks to all of you that have taken a moment to express your thoughts and even constructive criticisms about this painting. It means a whole lot to hear such encouraging feedback from all of my CDC brethren who share in the love of our great sport of crappie fishing. As I have said many times: I really enjoy doing the artwork... but most of all I most enjoy sharing it with all of you.
Lord willing... I look very much forward to sharing much more in the future... and hopefully it will continue to get better and better.

Thanks again and may God Bless each and every one of you.

02-26-2019, 02:45 PM
That is a beautiful piece of artwork.

02-26-2019, 04:57 PM
Thatís a great piece of artwork!

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Fish on Line
02-26-2019, 05:53 PM
This is a Beautiful piece. I have not painted in years -- The only thing I would have done different with the fish under water -- I would not have put the white along the Body.. To Me the white would more Reflect the Glistening of water in the sunlight of a Crappie out of Water -- That is just Me.. Your choice of colors in Water and Grass bring the Crappie into the forefront as the subject .. You make Me Proud of your work

02-26-2019, 06:24 PM
My sister received one of 3 art diplomas that were presented at her graduation from high school. She had both the talent and the eye. I can build the building that it would hang in, and build, hang and finish the wall it would hang on, but i cannot do what you do. You have that gift, and iím Glad that you chose to share it with us. Someone, maybe a young person, may look at that and sayĒ thatís easyĒ and their journey begins. I always enjoy your work and your posts, please keep it up.

03-01-2019, 09:19 AM
I screw up stick men. Looks good

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