Sunday, 2 August 2015

Grass Carp Commission

I have just completed quite a large commission of a chap who has been visiting our fishery for some years now. It's not very often I draw a portrait of a person because I feel so much emphasis goes into the portrait, not just from my perspective but the viewer aswell, and this pulls me away from my love of drawing animals & fish!! I have enjoyed the challenge and once I was happy with Kevs facial features the drawing came together nicely. It's always heart warming to observe a customers initial reaction when they see a commission piece and he honestly nearly gave himself whiplash when he first glanced at the drawing, it made the whole thing so worth while.

The fish in this piece is a Grass carp, a species that originates from eastern Asia and may have first come from the Amur river. It was introduced to Europe for aquatic weed control, and is very effective at doing so. It can eat 3 times its own body weight per day & can fight like no other carp I know, if in the correct environment!. Its such a stunning looking fish, made up of amour like scales of silver and a turquoise sheen across its back with a lovely creamy white underside. Its body shape is like a submarine, being long and streamlined with a solid, bony skull.
They are so unpredictable in the water and out, so care needs to be taken when handling these fish because they can damage themselves with their erratic jumping behaviour. In the water it's a shy secretive fish that likes shady cover under trees and bushes, quietly cruising around happy to feed on most aquatic vegetation.

If you have never caught one and know of a lake that contains them, a bright sweet based bait is a preferred choice, something like sweetcorn is an ideal bait, fished in a warm shallow area and preferably on a slope like the side of a gravel bar. The mouth of a grass carp is not underslung like the King carp or semi protrusible, it has very hard lips for tearing vegetation and is located at the front of the skull making it difficult to feed on the bottom, having to upend almost vertically to pick food items up, thus making it far easier for the Grass carp to feed on a slope with its body in a horizontal position.

I hope you enjoy the piece and also understand a little more about this stunning species, Thanks Kevin its been a pleasure!!!

The completed piece framed and mounted to give you the overall effect of the finished work.

A.J.E Copy (C) Right on all images on this blog site.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the drawing, enjoy reading the accompanying texts, and have always been rather envious of those with the talent to draw and paint, but I do wonder whether your descriptions of this fish are accurate. My experience of grass carp is that the fight they give is always incredibly disappointing. They belie their streamlined shape and even large specimens are in the landing net very quickly. It is also surely more than a little doubtful that they eat "three times their own weight" every day. When these fish were first introduced for weed control in the drains, anglers were told that the fish would never be caught on rod and line. That too was quickly found to be quite wrong. Pretty fish, but as sporting fish go, their nearest rivals are common bream. Apologies for being a little critical.