Carl Ellis MA(RCA) SWLA fish art 

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Oil and Pastels

The marks I need to make have to be immediate. I use a variety of wax and oil pastels in the same expressive manner as paint with generally a colour palette that can be held in one hand.

With selected papers I’ll often apply the softer oil colours by using wax pastels, shaped erasers or fingers. Colours can then be mixed with an electric eraser or removed by a scalpel.

Click on images below for larger picture


Wary trout (detail) David Shepherd WF Exhibition ’09: There is always a sense of visual distortion in my work due to the very nature of water. I often find the shift between what I observe and the moment it is put to paper and then looking again starts me off on that playful journey.

The key to this piece is the watchful eye of the fish. 


1      Perch  (BBC Wildlife Magazine ‘09 ‘Beneath the water’ category winner): I’ve never been afraid of exhibiting small parts of a larger piece if it works well enough – no matter how small it might be. Perhaps I have always liked the idea of inviting a closer look.


Salmon leap Amongst many other drawings on the same page this small piece seemed to encapsulate the many hours of watching and drawing salmon leaping the falls.

Gudgeon   Above or below the surface I like to simply draw what I see.

Crucian carp I’ve never really seen a living fish in the same way a camera does...I’m much more interested in what the eye sees over a more natural period of time.

Carp Here the ongoing theme of ‘where liquid meets solid ' especially comes into play.


Underwater studies: Some recent works completed at various freshwater locations using a simple underwater monitor.

Quite a time consuming activity but direct observations of fish have always been a fundamental part of my work.
I do like to exhibit such raw works at times but most will form a sound basis for more considered studio pieces.

Brown trout 1 (river Wye)

Brown trout 2 (river Wye)

Gudgeon 1 (river Sow)

Gudgeon 2 (detail)

Perch 1 (river Sow)

Perch 2 (Church pool)

Pike (river Sow)

Small Perch 1 (Church pool)

Small Perch 2 (Church pool)


Perch colour drawings

Gudgeon 3 detail

Pike drawings

Gudgeon 4 detail

Gudgeon 5 detail
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