Sunday, August 31, 2008

WIP Reef - Sea Fan

coral reef drawing in progress
Back to the coral reef for a while. The most recent parts are the beginning of a red lionfish (which I realized after I started is behind the coral) and a green sea fan. Sea fans belong to the order Gorgonacea, and like many of the corals I've been drawing the specific scientific name is difficult to pinpoint. Sea fans come in a variety of colors, usually orange, purple or yellow. The colonies organize themselves into a fan-like shape (hence the name) in a single plane to filter plankton out of the water as it flows through it. When the polyps are retracted, the coral looks more like a branch. Sea fans prefer to anchor in sand and can grow up to five feet long.

sea fan drawingDrawing this sea fan was simple, but required a steady hand. I used a base layer of peacock blue and a top layer of dark green for the skeletal structure, fading into aquamarine and olive in the lighter area. I used light aqua for the polyps and light cerulean blue for the hint of water you can see behind it.

I'm going to build up a little more of the hard coral below it, but I want to put in the block of branch coral first. I had started a lionfish because I figured I hadn't drawn a fish in a while, but since I'm working foreground-to-background, the rest of the fish will have to wait.


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