KoiI took a quick break from colored pencil to paint a koi fish with NeoColor II water-soluble pastels in my Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook. The background was created by adding the dry pigment to the paper using horizontal strokes in yellow green, cobalt blue, mauve, and ultramarine. I kept the lighter colors to the top to suggest sunlight passing through the water’s surface. Using a damp #12 round brush and clean water I softened the colors to create a wash.

The spots were a mixture of yellow, carmine, and alizarin crimson. When the koi was dry I added light cobalt blue to create the shadows and give the impression that the fish was underwater. Once everything was fully dry I added a few strokes of dry color to the background to give it some texture. Lastly, I added the fin details and water swirls with white ink.



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