The rock shadow idea is a cross over from painting the shadow on the bottom of the painting and pushing perspective to to really have the trout come out in three dimension. There is a problem with too many shadows and having the raw idea of a trouts shadow on top of the rocks. The problem is with a hard light on the side of the piece, the trout creates its own shadow and flattens out the side of the fish. The solution: Create a bottom of the rocks that is darker rocks and not just have the trout’s shadow hitting the bottom of the painting but making the rocks as the bottom of the painting the fish’s shadow. I have yet to see this done in a painting and the tie in to the fish is all a part of the image that is being conveyed. Straying away from the poetry a little bit in this piece lends more to a humorous approach with five different flies on the surface and the trout coming up to take the smallest one. This scenario has happened to me so many times in Montana and to finally scale down to the tiny midge patterns is all the fish will take. Throwing everything in the fly box at the trout who are educated and not to be taking just any ordinary fly.
The rustic appeal of using Montana refurbished lumber creates not only a frame that the patron doesn’t have to buy but the corners are seamless and the back of the painting for hanging is rock solid. I have yet to do it but I am pretty sure I could be throwing these things off of a 12 story fire escape and having them come away fairly unscathed. The resin closes the gaps in the wood and locks the painting into the lumber as one absolutely solid piece.
The cutthroat trout is getting to be one of my favorite trout to paint. the spots are pronounced and there is a burnt sienna tinge to their backs. The fins can have a reddish cast to them as well and create that warmth that defines a sunny day on the river.