Took these pictures at a local garden center but trying to compose a drawing is difficult with moving fish! So I used 2 different photos to try to generally get what I wanted.The first thing I did was do the water. I wet all the water and I used ultramarine blue for the top part of the picture. Then I gradually changed the color of the water by adding orange to it. I also dropped in orange and also raw sienna especially towards the bottom area. After that dried I worked on the fish. I began painting it first with gamboge or you can use a bright yellow. Then while it was wet I used perinone orange (a Daniel Smith color) although you can use any bright dark orange or make one using permanent rose and winsor yellow or any bright cool yellow. Being careful not to get the orange on the upper top part of the fish so the yellow shows through.
I mixed a violet color with ultramarine + quinacridone rose and used it to make the darker marks on the fish. When the violet goes on top of the orange, it will tone it down quite a bit so don't worry that the violet is too bright! As I used the violet on the beginning part of the tail, I dropped a little orange into it. I also used ultramarine on the end of the tail and dropped some orange into it.
I put the orange on the fins but I also used a scrubber brush to soften and extend the fins so they would look more translucent. I added some violet into the fins to continue the translucent look. This violet has some orange in it so that it wasn't so bright!
The flower is sunlit. Keeping that in mind I gave it an initial very light wash using opera rose, but also leaving a few areas white. After that dried, I used the same color only less water but also added a bit of ultramarine to purple it up a bit. I made it even darker on the shadowed side of the flower.
The maroon stripe effect on the other lily pads is from using maroon perylene with some ultramarine in it. There are little bud type things in the centers of the lily pads. I just used a little raw sienna on them or in some cases left them white and gave them a shadowed side.
Finishing touches.......added some yellow to the fins. Added roots in the water connecting the lily pads....just ran my brush with some of the lily pad color through the water freehand. Added scales with the violet color and some orange ones too. Added a touch of white highlight with gouache to the lily pad edges and places where I needed some white to the fins. The bubbles were added with gouache. After doing the circles, I scrubbed a little inside the circle to make it look lighter.
Hope you enjoyed painting the Koi Fish!