Ocean Painting

Paintings and Murals of Fish, Corals and Anemones


Archive for the ‘Posts on Works In Progress’ Category

Fish and Coral Wall Stickers

My artwork lends itself nicely to murals and children’s rooms, so I decided to look into how I could transfer my artwork to the wall. Doing murals seemed like too much of a departure from what I was focusing on. Being a muralist is a whole new ballgame and I’d probably have to dedicate all my painting endeavors to finding clients who want murals, planning custom pieces for rooms and then traveling around to various places to paint them. Way too much work, especially since I have a job that actually pays me money.  On top of that I really didn’t think that in this economy people are all that interested in having a custom mural painted in their home. So I decided to approach it from a different angle… wall decals.

Wall stickers are becoming quite popular again as people look to find unique ways to decorate their homes at an affordable price and without making a mess. Original artwork can be expensive and wall murals can be even more costly so home owners now browse a myriad of wall decal sites in hopes of finding something to decorate their baby room, rec room or man cave. Sites like Blik and Fathead offer life size graphics of football stars, comic book characters, butterflies and flowers. Pretty much anyone from a sports fan to a hip interior designer can find something that they like. Here are a few reasons why people like decals:

  • They are affordable
  • They can be removed without making a mess
  • They can be easily repositioned so you can adjust to your liking
  • You know what you are getting
  • They are fun!

Last week I got in contact with a new company called Larger than Life Prints, after seeing that they were a company that was interested in partnering with artists and designers to print their work. I showed them my little site here and they thought my artwork was perfect for their site. I got on a quick call with them, and we decided that I should do a print test. I used to be a graphic designer and thought that I should approach decal artwork differently than my oil paintings. Since wall art can be blown up to huge sizes, I figured it would be best to do line art in Adobe Illustrator since those images can usually be blown up as large as you want without affecting the resolution. This weekend I installed the latest version of Illustrator and started playing around with some designs. Here is what I have come up with so far.

I’m pretty happy with it. Once I render a couple more fish I’m going to send it off for a test print. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. If all goes well I’ll be able to produce more art for their site and I’ll be able to set a designer’s price for the art. They will get paid for the printing. They also are developing a widget that would allow me to sell my artwork on my site. So for those of you who don’t want to spend money on original artwork or are looking for a cheap alternative to a mural, maybe aquatic wall decals of fish and corals is the way to go.


Trying to Get a Painting Just Right

I still have much to learn about painting. I wish I could say I knew it all, but in reality I don’t. In fact I probably know less about painting than most people. But I’m learning everyday and feel that my skill and technique are getting better and better every time I make a brush stroke.

I’ve been working on a clownfish and frogspawn coral paint for that past few weeks. I got it to a point where I was hoping to be done, but in the end I wasn’t pleased with the result. The painting was just too busy and the main clown wasn’t getting the impact I wanted. So, I posted the image over at Wet Canvas forums and asked some fellow artists to review my work. I’ve been posting alot of my work here and enjoy hearing people’s comments. Most of the time their comments are pretty spot on. It’s nice to get comments from people who aren’t friends or family because they don’t worry about offending you.

If you ever want to see what I’m up to (many times before I post here) do a search for johnstires (my username) over at wetcanvas. You’ll quickly learn that my paintings don’t come out perfect the first time. I usually have to do alot of refinement, mostly because I am my own harshest critic, but often to the comments of other painters at Wet Canvas. But as you can see from the comparison in this post, usually it is for the best. The top image shows what the painting looked like before and the bottom shows what the painting looked like after I toned down the coral’s tentacles. The main clownfish subject stands out so much more than before. I’m still not finished, but feel I am on a better track. I’ll be happy when I finish this 24″x48″ canvas. It’s been alot of work for me, but fun work. :)


Work in Progress: Clownfish and Frogspawn Coral

I want to continually post to my blog to show some of the work that is in progress. This photo is of a female clownfish darting out of a frogspawn coral. It is a closeup of a much larger piece. The entire peice is 24″x48″ and is my first foray into a larger more polished work. Up until now I’ve been mainly playing around, getting some ideas out and exploring oil paints, to which honestly I don’t know much about. Most of what I do is experimental, and while I am learning alot, I’m sure there is much much more to learn. I’m very happy that I was able to get the texture of the scales, that really tied it all together for me. Hopefully will have the entire piece done by the weekend. Keep an eye out!