Hawaiian Coral Reef

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

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.

Post a comment

Constructive Critique requested. See Tips.

Please login to post comments.


  • Apr 23, 2011, 8:05:57 AM UTC
    Truly breath taking. The use of colors compliment the flow of the sea creatures. Wonderful job.
  • Nov 18, 2007, 10:44:00 AM UTC
    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, 1:58:47 PM UTC
      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, 7:58:01 AM UTC
        The idea of trying to paint something scares the beegeebers out of me.
        And you're welcome. Corky Smile
  • Oct 16, 2007, 9:24:53 AM UTC
    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.
  • Oct 13, 2007, 5:41:12 PM UTC
    This one is very beautiful, the colors speak all.
  • Oct 3, 2007, 12:26:27 PM UTC
    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.
  • Sep 20, 2007, 1:29:17 AM UTC
    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)
  • Aug 30, 2007, 11:37:53 AM UTC
    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 17, 2007, 7:47:33 AM UTC
    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 @[email protected]
  • Jul 12, 2007, 3:06:44 PM UTC
    Oh, wow. That is really breathtaking!
    • Jul 12, 2007, 11:05:35 PM UTC
      Hi Inqy, thanks for the comments. Welcome to PaperDemon Smile
  • Jun 27, 2006, 5:08:26 AM UTC
    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
  • Apr 19, 2006, 6:57:16 PM UTC
    It's beautiful! It's like being right there in the reef!
  • Nov 14, 2005, 3:49:28 PM UTC
    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, 1:46:45 AM UTC
      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.
  • Nov 5, 2005, 5:15:09 AM UTC
    very very good work ilove this picture *-* and done with traditional things very good^^
  • Nov 4, 2005, 5:53:17 AM UTC
    Now that look so real . Great job love the detail .. I just want to dive in...
  • Nov 1, 2005, 5:17:02 AM UTC
    Wow 0_o omg that's just too good!! how do you colour like that??? *adds to faves*
    • Nov 1, 2005, 9:51:37 PM UTC
      Thanks Maz Bourne. I learned from practice and a good teacher Big Smile
      • Nov 1, 2005, 10:04:05 PM UTC
        awesome! Wish i could do stuff like that lol. ^^
  • Sep 22, 2005, 3:15:30 AM UTC | Total Edits: 1 | Last edited on Sep 22, 2005 by Humority
    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, 10:30:45 AM UTC
      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, 8:00:24 AM UTC
        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?
  • Jul 14, 2005, 6:49:14 PM UTC
    Wow... that is really beautiful work.
  • Jun 29, 2005, 1:22:52 PM UTC
    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, 9:14:36 PM UTC
    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, 9:40:23 PM UTC
      Wow I'm glad you feel inspired by my work Quang. Thanks for your comments.
  • Jun 9, 2005, 9:56:49 PM UTC
    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, 11:43:13 PM UTC
      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, 1:22:22 AM UTC
        Okay, i'll tell him to come and check out the site. Thank you.