Dragon and Carp (finally done!)

Dragon and Carp – Watercolours and Chinese sumi ink on Sugar paper.

Bottom right it reads (in simplified Chinese): “As water turns to mist, so you will work hard to become the dragon”.

This quote I made up as well as the whole piece is inspired by Chinese mythology, specifically the story of the “Carp leaping over Dragon’s gate”.

For the story, check this out: http://www.zengyotaku.com/carp_jump_dragon_gate.html

I’ll admit I slightly rushed this because I felt guilty being ill and not doing anything. I made a huge mistake in the beginning with the colours of the two creatures… I wanted to use bright reds and purples, but this soon went disastrous, so I turned it into burgendy and added green.

I learned how to do clouds from watching a few tutorials on Chinese landscape painting and painted clouds in this piece to represent mist for the dragon and for overall atmosphere. This went rather well, but it dried a bit too subtle, so I increased its intensity…(unintentionally, a bit too much) and I spoiled the host cloud on the bottom…now it kind of competes with the dragon and fish, which is bad.

I added the Carp to the piece and some water behind it to represent the hard working carp and water aspect respectively. The water is fine, it does it’s job well enough. I’m just about happy with the fish.

Overall, I’m slightly happy with it, but wished I hadn’t broken what wasn’t required to be fixed. I reckon this concludes the oriental theme. I’ve learned quite a bit and I’ve had fun playing with other concepts, but now? It’s time to return to my own again. 🙂

That’s all for today my friends. I wish you the best, a nice relaxing Sunday, and a good week ahead. Cheers!


6 thoughts on “Dragon and Carp (finally done!)

  1. I’d like to start off saying that I hope you’re doing fully better now, and glad you’ve been well enough to wrap things up with this project.

    That said, this is absolutely stunning. Though I’ll keep it short as I expressed my thoughts of the dragon itself before.

    I think the coloration is lovely, though I can imagine it with the purples you mentioned. I feel the green represents life, which is befitting as the dragon is a benevolent beast in Chinese mythology. Once again it’s just gorgeous

    I don’t know, I think the cloud still takes secondary to the main subjects. The dragon and the carp are still the most prominent, it feels just about right. I like the way each is in their “Respective element”, the carp in a veil of water, and the dragon high up in the atmosphere.

    Speaking of the carp I love the pattern and the form. The way you connected the two is really nice, taking inspiration from some mythology and putting them together seamlessly visually, that certainly takes skill if you ask me.

    You can see the similarities right away, and you can nearly imagine the carp undergoing a metamorphosis, from a hard working and courageous carp, to a fierce and accomplished full fledged dragon

    I really think it’s outstanding, I can’t describe how much I love this piece. I would love to repost this on my G+ so my followers can see it but I’m not sure if that’s possible…

    In any case, I hope you’re doing well, and thank you again for sharing such marvelous work. Your effort really shines in it. If you have the time, do mention how your art society event has gone!

    As a final note, this is quite unrelated but do you remember when you were trying to find another means of communication other than Showdown? I think I’ve found something that could work! Google + has a “hangouts” function which is essentially a chat page, you can even leave a chat message for someone when they aren’t around for them to see later.

    All that aside, have a wonderful week, and it’s always good hearing from you! Yes I have been notified of the comments, and thank you so much for always taking a look at my progress as I paint! It means a whole lot! Till next time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot once again thank you enough for all your comments and appreciation of my work! Cheers!

      Yes, I am slightly satisfied with this piece, but there are places in this image I thought I should have done a bit better with… It’s a shame it is Watercolour and ink done on Sugar paper, sugar paper as a surface is quite absorbent and unforgiving. I wanted to challenge myself though, so it’s alright anyhow.

      I’ve been fine, the infection is gone, but I have been suffering with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for about 5 weeks. I’m hopeful it will subside eventually.

      Our exhibition isn’t until next month, so I’m afraid I have nothing to say yet! You’ll just have to stay tuned to my blog. 😉

      I’ll be totally honest mate, my knowledge of Google+ is limited. However the good news is that I’ve recently linked my blog to my G+ page, so my posts from WordPress should show on my G+ page. I don’t mind at all if you want to repost any of my artwork via your page, provided you credit me as the artist.

      My G+ page is Levi Richards if that helps at all. As for this hangouts idea, I have no idea how that works, you’ll have to bear with me somewhat as I am rather busy, will probably check that out another time.

      It’s nice to chat too, and I very much enjoy looking at your work as you post new stuff. Speaking of, I’ve seen your new post… Dawning Path was it? This in my opinion is your best painting yet, and if I was you, I would be brave enough to sketch this again as a final piece.

      In my less than humble opinion, the composition is much more even, the shading is wonderful for a first attempt, and that usage of 1 point perspective works well here. My favourite part has to be the sky and sun behind the mountain, this adds subtle atmosphere. Very well done! Keep improving!

      Incidentally, I haven’t forgotten that it is your birthday, so happy birthday! 🙂

      That’s all. Hope your week is going well. Cheers!


      • I had a feeling I should check back here today! ^-^ Thank you so much! I’m very grateful for the birthday wishes. I’m just sorry that I’m so very late responding as I hadn’t checked till now >//<

        Ah boy that must be awful. I do hope that ear ringing passes soon enough, I can't imagine how disturbing it must be.

        Yes I've been posting my stuff on my G+ as well! It's a very nice feature. Course! I believe it would link back here as well, but I don't seem to have that option sadly, not on posts that aren't mine.

        Oh wow…. I suspect this means that paint doesn't move much at all after it's been placed down. A daunting challenge I'd say, but it looks very very fresh! You pulled it off excellently if you ask me.

        Will do, I'll keep checking in to hear about how that's going ^-^

        Yes I think it looks a lot better than most stuff I've done so far too. I really think it has to do with the different "backdrop" so to speak. The mountains actually make things seem far off (and they don't look quite as awful as the mountains in the bridge painting I did…) I like how the sun turned out there too ^-^ I'm starting to realize the sun is more a white spot amongst a warm color in the sky rather than a yellow ball (Oh silly me haha) but the mountain covering it gives it that feel for sure.

        Ah don't worry about that, I'll see if I can find your G+ page than and add you there! To get to hangouts you to the panel right below your search bar, and a little bubble with a " should show up when you roll over it (Or just rollover the spot that says profile, and the drop down menu should explain hangouts and take you there too). I think we both have to add each other for hangouts to work, but I'm not sure I haven't used it long myself.

        Oh, I just thought I'd mention when I was talking about the friend who told me about the reflection in the water it was you XD I'll take your tips to heart and try creating more depth! I love the feedback because it really helps me on my road to become a real artist.

        Thank you again for everything and I look forward to seeing what you have planned next, as well as your commentary on my practice works ^-^ Have a great week, and see you later!


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