Queen Triggerfish

The queen triggerfish reaches 24 in, though most only are about half that length. It is typically blue, purple, turquoise and green with a yellowish throat, and light blue lines on the fins and head. It can change colour somewhat to match its surroundings, or if subjected to stress. In the western Atlantic, it ranges from Canada to southern Brazil, and is reasonably common in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. The queen triggerfish is typically found at coral and rocky reefs in depths of 10–100 feet, but it can occur as deep as 900 feet and sometimes over areas with sand or sea grass. The sketch is  direct to watercolor without ink. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-02-20-Queen Triggerfish

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Sunset Butterflyfish

The Sunset Butterflyfish is also known as the Pelewensis Butterflyfish, Dot-Dash Butterflyfish and it originates from the reefs of the south Pacific. This Butterflyfish has an oval shape and has beautiful yellow to orange hues covering the majority of the body. The black bands are orientated in a diagonal fashion and the fins are outlined in a striking yellow. The sketch is  direct to watercolor without ink. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-02-19-Sunset Butterflyfish

Red Sea Urchin

The red sea urchin (Mesocentrotus franciscanus) is found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska ti Baja California. It lives in shallow waters from the low-tide line to greater than 330 feet deep, and is typically found on rocky shores sheltered from extreme wave action. A sea urchin’s spherical body is completely covered by sharp spines that can grow up to 3.1 inches. These spines grow on a hard shell called the “test”, which encloses the animal.  It can vary in color from red to dark burgundy. A sea urchin has no visible eyes or legs. It has a mouth located on its underside, which is surrounded by five teeth. The sketch is  direct to watercolor without ink. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-02-18 Red Sea Urchin

Blue Sea Anemone

The ornately colored sea anemone (uh-NEM-uh-nee) is named after the equally flashy terrestrial anemone flower. A close relative of coral and jellyfish, anemones are stinging polyps that spend most of their time attached to rocks on the sea bottom or on coral reefs waiting for fish to pass close enough to get ensnared in their venom-filled tentacles. Their bodies are composed of an adhesive foot, a cylindrical body, and an array of tentacles surrounding a central mouth. The tentacles are triggered by the slightest touch, firing a harpoon-like filament into their victim and injecting a paralyzing neurotoxin. The helpless prey is then guided into the mouth by the tentacles. There are more than 1,000 sea anemone species found throughout the world’s oceans at various depths. I need to review my colors and get a much brighter, electric blue for these tropical images. The sketch is a quick pencil sketch for proportions and then direct to watercolor without ink. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-02-17 Blue Anemone

Queen Angelfish

The Queen Angelfish is one of the most striking of all angelfish. Vibrant yellow and electric sapphire-blue highlights give the Queen Angelfish an almost iridescent appearance. It has a dark spot on the forehead surrounded by bright blue. The dorsal and pelvic fins are elongated. Not a good reef dweller, the Queen Angelfish is prone to nip at stony and soft corals (sessile invertebrates) and clam mantles. It can be aggressive, so it must be introduced to the community tank last. I need to review my colors and get a much brighter, electric blue for these tropical images. The sketch is a quick pencil sketch for proportions and then direct to watercolor without ink. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-02-16 Queen Angelfish

Scribbled Angelfish

One more week of the looser, colorful ocean theme I have been on. The Scribbled Angelfish,  also known as Duboulay’s Angelfish, is a favorite among aquarists. The lips are a dull yellow while the face and body are predominately a dark blue-black. Separating the head from the body is a wide vertical band of yellow and white. A yellow stripe adorns the upper body and the caudal fin is also yellow. The Scribbled Angelfish derives its name from the many scrawls over the body and large dorsal and anal fins. Usually indistinguishable in color variations from male to female, the Scribbled Angelfish male may exhibit a small white patch on the gill cover. The sketch is a quick pencil sketch for proportions and then direct to watercolor without ink. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-02-15 Scribbled Angelfish

Pastel Hearts

Happy Valentines Day! a sketch using both watercolor for the background and pastels for the small candy hearts. I have only used pastels a couple of times and now I know why. I remember these candy hearts from when I was young with the sayings stamped into the surface. Holbein watercolor wash base with pastels that are a combination of Rembrandt sticks and Conte pencils in a Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook.

2016-02-14 Pastel Hearts