Color conveys mood. One question I begin my koi paintings with is what color blue will predominate? For this particular painting my studies help me decide whether one fish (now in a leading role) will be a soft pale orange or a richly saturated orange. The color of the fish is especially important since orange and blue are optically opposite. If the fish is richly colored he will stand out in a maximal way, and if he is a quietly pale orange he will make a much less forceful impact.
I’m thinking this little fish deserves a big personality, but I’m trying to make certain the whole painting will balance. This study tries the quieter color. It’s also the first time I’ve dealt with the dark fish who dives downwards.