Thinking of Blu

An artform I’ve greatly enjoyed experimenting with lately is vector drawing.  There’s something I really enjoy about the tedious process of organizing and separating an image into colors.  It really forces you to make decisions since the style I’ve been using allows each section to be only one color, so you have to create the illusion of blending, shading, and highlighting with single color selections.

My most recent illustration was my betta fish, of course.  His name is BluBo which was an unintentional,  silly riff on the former betta fish named BoBo that ended up sticking.  It’s been interesting watching his colors change as he has aged.  He was once a very vivid and iridescent teal green with  some slight red accents, but he’s become deeper blue and the red is only visible in certain lights.  Even still, depending on the lighting his former green-tinged iridescence can still be perceived.

I poured a bunch of work into this illustration in a short amount of time because I wanted it to be incorporated into a valentine’s day card.  I’m still pleased with the way it came out, and I hope to work with a more dynamically colored image of him next time to keep studying his range of colors.

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for Bergie & BoBo

This painting was a surprise present for someone dear to me. We bonded over BoBo, the betta fish that I had, and he would speak fondly of his dear Bergie fish who had passed away a while ago.  Sometimes you get the privilege of the presence of a fish with a lot of personality, and I know I’ve spent many an evening watching a particularly expressive fish flit around the little garden I created for him. I suppose it’s part of that fondness for all things aquatic, but I can easily say I’ve been totally enamored with a dear fish or two in my time just as much as any other type of pet.  Sadly, BoBo passed away very recently, and while this was meant to be in the image of Bergie, I know that BoBo was very much an inspiration to me in painting this as well.

This is for them and for all of those who have loved a betta fish.

I had a lot of different thoughts on how I wanted to go about this, but as I sketched, I ended up wanting sort of an almost Chinese paper cut-type feel to the lines and kept them thin and delicate. I wanted to imply the edges of a bowl and keep the colors kind of muddied down for the most part while being very loose and watery. This is how it happened.

Here is the image I used as reference, and I changed the color and some of the proportions to match the descriptions of Bergie.  You can also find some other amazing betta photography there as well.

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