A close up view of the fish drawing is pure abstraction. You can hardly tell there’s a fish there except for a bit contour — that along with being told — does vaguely produce a minimum of fishiness. I am an abstract artist — in some respects. Someone told me this, one of my insightful students. I wasn’t even aware.
Why do I like the scrawl of the crayon more than the specific features of the fish itself? Well, I only like them better in some pictures. In other pictures I’d be quite content to imitate the look of a koi sliding through the water. But here the energy of crayon markings in bright colors has gotten the better of me. The markings capture some of the alacrity of koi energy.
There’s still fish there. And it matters too that they’re fish.
This detail occurs in the giant rehearsal drawing. I reworked it based on some random lights and shadows that fell on the drawing when I was outdoors photographing it. Here’s a picture of it indoors with the tool box and step stool to give a sense of its actual size.