I would have to say that this acrylic painting is about 85 percent finished. I have been working on this artwork on and off since last March so I just am just itching to put this monster to bed, you know ever since I started to go for a more realistic look in my artwork I have found that I am now investing a lot more time in completing one of these things. This acrylic painting is based on a six image Photoshop composite layout I made of some iPhone pictures taken of the huge aquarium located behind the bar at the Hoboken, New Jersey nightspot Teak on the Hudson.
At least now I am getting to the fun part of the process, the real nitty gritty, this is when I get to break out the tiny brushes and start working on all the fine details, this is the most satisfying part of the painting process for me. I have some tough challenges ahead however, first there is the stone Buddha face in the lower left hand corner that needs some lighter delicate shading, then to the right of that is the orange and white fish tangled in the weeds, an area in which I have been avoiding, that part needs to be right on the money in order for the whole painting to work.
The other part of the finishing process is that I must make sure that all the elements in my composition meld together harmoniously, I have to make sure that these fish, plants and rocks are all working well with each other and are not in a competition fighting it out for the viewers attention. I also have to be sure to maintain the illusion that these aquarium fish are existing in murky water through out the entirety of the painting, so this means that the details need to have a little blur to them instead of being super sharp in order to make this effect work.
The key to this painting is the illusion of depth, I have varying levels of depth in this artwork(which reminds me of those shoebox dioramas that I used to build in grade school) and I have to make sure that all the levels of shading are correct, my goal in this piece is give the viewer that feeling that they are looking through glass into an actual aquarium.
In order to nail down this visual illusion of three dimensionality I am going to have to make sure that the area in the painting were the aquarium filter bubbles intersect with the two fishes(see detail above) is spot on. This densely packed area of the painting is like a busy intersection, I consider it the machine that drives the whole painting along, If I can convincingly render these three overlapping elements together then I think the battle will be won.