Acrylic Koi Painting

pink fish artwork artist

“The Knowing” “54 x “26 acrylic on canvas_2002

by Robert Conway

This is my favorite koi painting so far, I remember when I was working on it, I had one of those moments where I was thinking that this was the one I had always dreamt about painting, color, composition, mood and overall trippy effect are all right on the money. (Of course I want to do better now). It was also the hardest one to paint, working in acrylic was a real stretch, I didn’t know any better at the time. I used a lot of flat sponges I bought at Pearl Paint to get the proper ethereal effect, many layers of thin, watered down paint were used to even things out. I am going to paint another one of these, but with oil paint, which is much better for blending, takes less time too. it is the largest painting I have ever worked on and I can remember that as I was painting the fine details I had this feeling the whole time that I was actually laying on top of the water, just floating on top of the koi fish. The luminescent feel of the paintings can be attributed to the fact that I was lousy at fixing the pond filter. Nobody left me an instruction book on how to clean it, believe me it was major league gross in there, and I never could get the water looking crystal clear. The ‘earthy’ particles in the water would partially block the light reflected off the koi fish softening any hard edges and giving the images that ‘spectral’ quality, which I altered more in Adobe Photoshop. The digital photo I took for this one happened right after a thunderstorm, The sun had just come out and the light had this strange quality to it. The fish slowly came out of their hiding places and seeing that the storm had passed, eased back into their daily rituals.

June 6, 2014


Koi Painting: The Mind Brothers

orange koi fish swimming in garden pond

“The Mind Brothers” _ oil painting on canvas _ 24″ x 8″ 2004

by Robert Conway

This oil painting, titled “The Mind Brothers” is from an art show I had named “The Garden of Christopher Noble”. I can’t resist naming my paintings from obscure science fiction references, so the title of this painting comes from a tripped-out, futuristic spy thriller from 1967 by author Peter Heath. I also wanted to refer to something cerebral in this piece, that was my theme, like ideas ever-flowing like they were water. Yep, a little out there I know, I may have been partying a little bit during this stretch, natch.

I did not have to do any photo manipulation or Adobe Photoshop tricks on this artwork which I am particularly proud of, it was just one straight shot I got on my digital camera one a beautiful morning in my backyard while sitting on the bench by my water garden. This image is of our favorite butterfly koi named ‘Solomon” and his pool mate affectionately referred to as ‘The Big Orange One”.

I have painted two versions of this painted artwork, one in done in acrylic and one in done in oils and sold both of them, I have been itching to paint another one except this time twice as big, maybe I will break out some of my Japanese bamboo painting brushes which I have stashed away for just a special occasion.

May 30, 2014