Well, here I was pretending to draw on this thing just like in the art books! But this was just a photo op. It provides a sense of the drawing’s size, the picture’s scale. The lines, the smears, the hatchings are all fairly largish. Many of the fishes are the same size as the actual koi — the “little guys,” that is. There was a fish that we nicknamed “Moby Dick” who would require an extra-large sheet if one portrayed him in his full grandeur!
These are heavy, weighty matters. Sometimes the fish are big.
And sometimes they are small. These fish in a notebook below are very small, but they are quite musical. One might say that they are ascending scales.
Sometimes a sense of scale implies a sense of SCALE — get it.
Above leaps the fish whose scales I stole, and beside him the Hiroshige print from which I stole them.
Sometimes the drawing is small but the idea is grandiose when fish swim in the skies. And then sometimes the clouds swim like kois in a koi pond.
I like the various permutations of the fish. And I don’t know why I like them so well. I just do.
Usually people go out to catch the fish. But in my case, it’s the fishes who have caught me.
Regular readers of this blog know I like to make copies. I also like to have fun. A while back when I was drawing horses I made these two drawings which live on the same sheet thanks to the invention of construction tape (used to make a larger sheet by combining several sheets together). I was copying horses from Japanese art. Unfortunately I can’t remember who the artist is. Hiroshige, Hokusai, someone else? I dunno. But here they are.
My copies are definite interpretations. Mine lack the rigor of the originals (boo woo) and also have a laisser-aller element that I attribute to the “fun” aspect. If one were turning Japanese masterworks into kid cartoons, you might get a drawing somewhat a kin to these.
But, hey, sometimes an artist just wants to have fun.
In my continual quest for the perfect fish, I consult the masters. This little guy jumped out of Hokusai’s pond. Or was it Hiroshige’s (is there an art historian in the house?) — well, out of the pond of one of those great old Japanese guys. The old master was playing some scales. Obviously he loved this fish’s scales — those beautiful scales rendered into refined patterns.
[Top of the post: Leaping fish, after a Japanese master, by Aletha Kuschan, colored pencil]