Saturday, August 18, 2018

Scientific Illustrator? Part 6 : Sonaghan

The last commissioned illustration for this project was the sonaghan. Like the gillaroo, sonaghan are endemic to Lough Melvin, but they are even smaller, more silver in coloration, and feed in the middle of the water column as opposed to being mostly benthic feeders. Sonaghan are generally considered Salmo nigripinnis.

In my humble opinion, sonaghan are the most handsome of the Melvin brown trout, with jet black fins,a sliver body, and a rusty yellow cheek. They have a more elongate face and body suited for open water. 

Like the gillaroo's head structure, the sonaghan's long body also gave me fits. I've found over the years that placing a ruler image can help because you can literally measure out how the dimensions of one part of the fish (pectoral fin, for example) compares with another (like distance from eye to edge of gill plate).

Ah, scaling.

In terms of patterning, the sonaghan was relatively simpler, but the simplicity I took to be a positive attribute, with just a few, hard black spots and some faded reds near the caudal peduncle.

Scale detailing underway.

The sonaghan's fins, as aforementioned, are particularly dark. This made it easier to draw, since I didn't have to worry about layer opacity as much. If, for example, a fish has especially clear fins, then opacity would matter because it would look different depending on the background. That's why I felt a neutral, middle-tone grey for this project was the right choice.

Sometimes I like to make notes on necessary adjustments to remember, or comments for my employer when I send them to routine update on my progress.

And there's the sonaghan. This illustration, my last for this project, is probably my favorite, although it's a close race with the ferox.

I will say that there was noticeable improvement in my technical ability over the course of this project, which is a trend I hope to continue in the future with more practice.

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