The next illustration after the stream-spawning sockeye was the lake-spawning variant. The big morphological difference between the two is the body shape; see comparatively thick males below.
With that being said, the illustration of this fish was significantly easier in that I could retain the head and fins of the previous illustration, do a certain degree. This is one of my favorite advantages to using digital media for projects like these. With traditional mediums, such replication would be impossible.
That made the primary objective creating a new sockeye body.
Which, of course, required an entirely new set of scales, a tedious process (if that hasn't been made clear already). But I had noticed my scaling was growing more and more efficient.
The scaling opacity is changed, and then I work on coloration detail to generate the final product.
This is the last salmon illustration commission. The next three are salmonids as well, but of a different genus from a different continent!