Koi watercolor on Yupo 11"x14
I have been wanting to paint Koi for years. I find myself watching them for hours whenever I see them in a pond and admire their shape and colors! I also have way too many photographs of them :) It was a lot of fun to paint the koi because the Yupo paper easily duplicates their bright colors. Surprisingly this time, I found myself working hard to tone down some of the texture in water in the composition so it won't compete so much with colorful koi yet would show movement. I think I need to work on couple of paintings at a time when painting on yupo -that will give each piece time for the paint to dry before I put the next layer! There is a shine to the paper, and I find the photographs do not do justice to bright colors!
As I was researching information about Koi in between painting them I found myself torn between really keeping to a particular fish's colorations and markings or mix them up(-which is my usual way of painting). For Koi collectors and breeders the markings and color are extremely important. The Koi carry a lot of significance for the Japanese and Chinese representing passionate love, courage, strength, friendship and wealth. According to a legend of those countries, if a koi fish succeeded in climbing the falls at the point of Dragon Gate in the Yellow River then they are transformed to dragons, signifying overcoming life's difficulties. According to Buddhists, the koi represent a person courageously swimming through 'ocean of suffering.'
Its a bit too late too adhere to realism in markings and color but I love the symbolism behind the fish :)