I recently finished an illustration of Arapaima gigas. This South American fresh water fish has many common names: Arapaima, Pirarucu and Paiche. It is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world sometimes growing to more than 8 feet long!

I collaged several photos to come up with the shape of the fish. I referenced photos of scientific drawings, models, living museum fish, and fish just caught in the wild to come up with my interpretation. I wanted to highlight its colors and make the Arapaima look beautiful to increase people’s appreciation of it.

This illustration was rendered using colored pencil on duralene.

Here are some in process photos:

Fish ID: Arapaima

Fish ID: Arapaima

Fish ID: Arapaima
Fish ID: Arapaima

Fish ID: Arapaima
Fish ID: Arapaima
Fish ID: Arapaima
Fish ID: Arapaima
Fish ID: Arapaima