discovery world creatures

On a Sunday afternoon, I visited Discovery World in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a part of museum swap day. Of course, I headed to the aquarium section immediately! The first animal I painted was a bearded looking fish (located in the top portion of this composition).I did not notice him initially, as he was so well camouflaged under the bark, rarely moving. Most fascinating were his eyes reflecting yellow and orange and the mossy looking extensions under his chin and the top of his head. He looked like a type of frog king, crowned with two sets of headpieces. I then added a fish with lines of dots along its sides. I could see him below my feet, as the floor showed through to an aquarium. It was fun to watch visitors come through, hesitant to “walk on water.” I have to admit I was a bit un-nerved by the pathway as well, as it has the illusion you will fall in.
Next, came the aquatic turtle, who was also a very still, willing model. I wondered what to with the remainder of my page, however, when I had finished with him. The museum was warm and crowded, so space to work in was both challenging and limited, but then I noticed a TV, under an alcove, playing a movie about planktons. No one was there. It was the perfect spot and subject. The movie was about what one finds in a drop of water, creatively filmed. Different types of brine shrimp, daphnia shrimp and other plankton were shown at close range, swimming and sometimes struggling about. To make the composition of my sketches complete, I added these microscopic scattered around the three larger forms. They allowed me to playfully and rhythmically finish the arrangement.

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