For some time now I have dabbled in painting fish in water colours and, until now, the subjects have been fish that I have become acquainted with first hand including brown trout, perch, carp, black bass and gypsy barbel. I have just broken with this little tradition by painting a fish that I have never seen in the flesh but that strikes me as a beautiful subject – the Golden Dorado. It´s no surprise that I have never seen or caught one. If I were to do so I would have to book myself a flight to South America.

The Golden Dorado is a warm-water fish found in central and east-central parts of South America. They are native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and northern Argentina. These are large predatory fish and have become increasingly sought after by fly fishermen.

Golden Dorado are beautiful and full of character. In their home waters they are apex predators and they contrive to look pretty thuggish and stylish at the same time, like gangsters in dinner jackets. Their distinctive pattern of spots make them excellent subjects for a painting.

Because I have not got up close and personal with one of these things I have had to rely on photos I have seen on the internet and still shots taken from youtube. Like all fish they show a lot of individual variation and mine is a “composite” fish based on photographs and a little bit on my imagination.

Below I have shown what the painting looks like and a few of the images that were used to guide me.

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