Hawaiian Coral Reef

Posted May 20, 2005, 10:27:51 AM

Acrylic; 10 by 21 inches.
This is an illustration I've been working on for the past semester in Alice Carter's Intermediate Illustration Project class (aka the "tidepool" class). The goal was to illustrate an environmental scene with at least 30 species of plants and animals and I chose a Hawaiian Coral Reef. I started off with 50 actually but then took some out as I layed in the values. Many of them disappeared into the darkness in the foreground. Today it was due and I am fairly happy with the results. I'll be working on it a little bit more over the next few weeks to polish it up to make it portfolio ready. There are a few things that still need work. The shapes for the turtles for instance could be better but I am very happy with the color and value choices I made. What do you think?
For those interested, here's a list of the paints I used. It is based on Monet's pallete:
Ultramarine Blue
Prussian Blue
Yellow Oxide
Burt Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red Med.
Cadmium Yellow
and gesso as substitute for white.

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Constructive Critique requested. See Tips.


  • May 20, 2005
    It's brilliant! Smile
  • May 20, 2005
    Wow...I feel like I'm right down there with them! I love this.
  • May 20, 2005
    Wow! You can really feel the depth in this picture. Great shadowing. I can't even draw a simple background! I especially love this pic because I'm obsessed with marine life. You did a wonderful job of capturing the serenity of a world that isn't really known to very many people. They can feel like they've really been there with this pic. Kudos! *claps*
    • May 20, 2005
      Thank you LadyAnime79. I'm glad you felt the depth because that was one of the main objectives of the assignment. Big Smile
      • May 20, 2005
        You're most welcome. I hope you got an A on this. lol
  • May 20, 2005
    I think it is a very good work, I really like the colors you use, they are so deep. As Lady Anime 79 said, you succeeded in creating the atmosphere of the marine world, an atmosphere of depth and serenity.
  • May 20, 2005
    Oh my GOD, this is gorgeous! I feel like I am at Seaworld standing in that dark hallway with my face smushed up to the glass! Oh wait, thats just my compter screen :wink: As many have already stated, the colors, the shadowing, and the depth are excelent. Spectacular job!
  • May 21, 2005
    Im loving the colors and simple detail. Your art gets better and better everytime I see it!
  • May 28, 2005
    WWWWWOOOOOOOWWWW, that is amazing! Ilike it alot! It looks so real.*smiles*
  • May 30, 2005
    Grreat work!

    I particularly like the depth feeling in this picture, but for some odd reason the more i look at it, more i feel that i'm sinking deeper to the darkness....

    *A big, insane smile*
    • May 30, 2005
      haha that's an interesting reaction Brethesen.
  • May 30, 2005
    and why's that? Ponder Wink
  • Jun 7, 2005
    I wish I could write a comment on your homepage, but I can't seem to find a way to do so. All of your art is utterly breathtaking - I wish I had the patience and determination to go to the level of detail you do in your works. Please - never stop.

    (And thanks for this site. I needed it.)
    • Jun 7, 2005
      I'm glad Dennis told you about bogusred.net. We need more fantasy artists here. I really love your work.
      Thank you for the comments by the way. As for commenting on the homepages/profile pages, that's a feature on deviantArt but not yet here. I haven't had a request for it yet but I'll see if I can put a feature like that up in a few weeks.
      • Jun 7, 2005
        *grin* I know nothing about deviantart... It didn't seem like my type of place, every time I've browsed it. For one, no one can leave comments but members, and it must be paid membership, so far as I know. I think so far, like I've already written - you have made the ideal site for artists who want to advance in their work. I am very grateful for that.
        • Jun 7, 2005
          Yeah Deviant art has a weird collection of artwork. I don't feel like I fit in much either. You can actually have a membership for free there but if you pay something like $20 USD a year, you'll get some added features. The site has given me a lot of ideas for features here. Namely, the favorites. I think everyone should be able to leave comments, not just members. Non-members have voices too Big Smile
          • Jun 7, 2005
            I do love the fact that anyone can comment on the work here. That's one of the main reasons I liked elfwood when I started posting online (which was all of four months ago). Still.. Looking at the comments/critiques on DA just didn't get me excited. They all seem too based on statistics, to me.

            Another feature that I quite like, though, that I don't think is here yet, is the watch feature. It would be neat to know when our buddies update.
            • Jun 7, 2005
              Yes a lot of people have requested that and I'll program it in a few weeks after things aren't so busy. I'd love to have that feature.
  • Jun 9, 2005
    *jaw drops* I.....don't.....have the....words......*
  • Jun 9, 2005
    You are very welcome. I see that you've met Minimaid. I would like to bring over a few more gallery friends that I know would just love PaperDemon. One of them just draws male nudes though and I was wondering if it would still be okay as his whole gallery would probably be in the RedCurtain.
    • Jun 9, 2005
      Yeah thats fine. Just as long as the work doesn't go too overboard. I'd like to have more artists in the Red Curtain. It's still much smaller than the Paper Demon site.
      • Jun 10, 2005
        Okay, i'll tell him to come and check out the site. Thank you.
  • Jun 29, 2005
    DUDE! I remember the sketches, this came out sooo beautiful! aznd I really think you don't need to change a thing!
  • Jun 25, 2005
    It's soo wonderful! I feel as if I just opened my curtain and in my window is a new life under the sea.
    If this isn't the finished one, I wonder what else can you do to a already perfect looking ilustration.
    Seeing you doing these big projects give me great inspiration to reach out for my artist talents.
    Thank you!!!!
    • Jun 25, 2005
      Wow I'm glad you feel inspired by my work Quang. Thanks for your comments.
  • Jul 14, 2005
    Wow... that is really beautiful work.
  • Sep 22, 2005
    I love the sense of space in this work. You must have done some information gathering and lots of sketches ne? I love the softness of the BG and the light that's falling down. I love the details. Also your composition is very dynamic. It's a very beautiful picture.Smile I think I'm gonna Favorite
    • Sep 23, 2005
      Oh yeah. I had to do a ton of reference. I had to have photographs for each species. I did over a hundred initial thumbnail sketches for the composition and did several more large sketches.

      Thank you for all of your comments and your +fav. Big Smile
      • Sep 24, 2005
        Oh, you're welcome, you deserve it. Smile
        That probably was tons of work. Reminds me of how I was painting a pic about an ethnic festival in my town I also did lots of sketches, well maybe not as much as you, I also recorded it on video and drew sketches at home. Hmm..what is the pic size in centimeners? I'm not used to the whole inch system?
        • Sep 24, 2005
          it's 25.4 by 53.34 centimeters.
  • Nov 1, 2005
    Wow 0_o omg that's just too good!! how do you colour like that??? *adds to faves*
    • Nov 1, 2005
      Thanks Maz Bourne. I learned from practice and a good teacher Big Smile
      • Nov 1, 2005
        awesome! Wish i could do stuff like that lol. ^^
  • Nov 4, 2005
    Now that look so real . Great job love the detail .. I just want to dive in...
  • Nov 5, 2005
    very very good work ilove this picture *-* and done with traditional things very good^^
  • Nov 14, 2005
    I really enjoy the perspecitve of this piece. Looking up from the bottom can be just as interesting as peering down from the surface. I think the warm colors (the coral and fishes) in the middle ground make this image. It would feel 'cold' with out it. I really like the little hint of reflected light at the very bottom. Makes you wonder what's hiding down there! Lastly there's a kidda whimsical swirling action to this . Makes you 'feel' the water... (Does that make sense? :wackoSmile I suppose it helps that I lived on a island for three years. I miss the sea. ^_^
    • Nov 15, 2005
      Wow I don't think I've ever got that detailed of a response before from this piece on Paper Demon. Wow thank you so much for the comments, Sliverbane.
      Oh and I love your new Brom icon hehehe.
  • Apr 19, 2006
    It's beautiful! It's like being right there in the reef!
  • Jun 27, 2006
    Whooo, i just love the seas, so i really loveit^^
    I like the colors you used and the light effects, too.
    Congrats.. and, hey i jus saw you added my "some long ears" to your favs. Thank you! Big Smile
    • Jun 27, 2006
      your welcome and thanks for the comment Big Smile
  • Jul 12, 2007
    Oh, wow. That is really breathtaking!
    • Jul 12, 2007
      Hi Inqy, thanks for the comments. Welcome to PaperDemon Smile
  • Aug 17, 2007
    3 words popped into my mind as I saw this:
    Absolutely gorgeous work!

    Seriously, I really love this, it's so brilliantly beautiful, and eye-crushingly stunning @_@
    • Aug 17, 2007
      Thanks! I'm glad you like it.
  • Aug 30, 2007
    This is absolutely beautiful! I love the colours, the softness of the piece, the lighting. You did a lovely job, and this piece really made me smile Smile
    • Aug 30, 2007
      Hey thanks for the comments Smile
  • Sep 20, 2007
    Wow, this is lovely. I love the atmosphere and the depth you have put into this. The colors aren't overpowering yet not bland either. Very nice job overall- I like it a lot. Smile (fav'd)
  • Oct 3, 2007
    Wow! Stunning! There's such a lovely calming atmosphere to this scene. Beautiful job capturing the underwater light. I don't see anything that really needs changing in the piece.
    • Oct 13, 2007
      Thanks for the comment ArcadiaRonin!
  • Oct 13, 2007
    This one is very beautiful, the colors speak all.
  • Oct 16, 2007
    Very beautiful. You mixed everything so well that at a first glance, I thought it was digital. ^^ I envy you, I'm no good with acrylics, only my fingers. Great job.
  • Nov 18, 2007
    I really like this. You have so much going on there with so many different types of underwater life swimming about. Smile
    I wish I could draw underwater scenery to go with my Mermen. Wink
    • Nov 23, 2007
      if you can manage to get a hold of good reference its actually not that hard to do an underwater painting. you should try it sometime Smile
      thanks for the comments!
      • Dec 6, 2007
        The idea of trying to paint something scares the beegeebers out of me.
        And you're welcome. Corky Smile
  • Apr 23, 2011
    Truly breath taking. The use of colors compliment the flow of the sea creatures. Wonderful job.