An original illustration by Brendon Marczan, Fish 001 is made using ink on Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper.
330mm Wide x 230mm High
I’ve been drawing fish for a long time. When we were about eight or nine, my great friend Heleana Genaus and I were very serious – obsessed – about producing a book on oceans with a view to becoming marine biologists. I drew fish, dolphins, sharks and octopuses, while she did a lot of the research. I’m sure children write books about marine life nowadays, but they didn’t when we were kids, and of course it came to nothing.
Heleana is a fantastic photographer now and has moved on from Jacques Cousteau fantasies, but I still love drawing fish. It’s one of the things I always draw if children tell me that they have heard I’m an artist and want me to draw something for them.
I was inspired to draw the first fish in the series based on a photo I took while snorkelling in Australia. Although colour is obviously a huge part of the impact of tropical fish in particular, I wanted to focus on translating the water that surrounds them. The tipi pattern is used more sparingly here than in the other series and is meant to evoke water without overwhelming the personality of the fish in the image.
Although I didn’t intend to create anthropomorphic or cartoon-like characters, I’ve found that when the colour is removed, the fish have quite animated eyes and a characterful face.
The kid in me still wants to be in scuba gear or a diving bell, sketching these beautiful creatures from life; but here I am in North London, using photos I find online or in National Geographic.