O-fish-al Art Recap

Welcome back to the #SundayFishSketch recap. If you haven’t read one of these blogs before, I recap some of the themes we have covered over the last few months, highlight some great artwork by novice and professional artists alike , and gain fishy insights from our artist of the month.


#WomenHistoryMonth 

Our most recent theme revolved around Women’s History Month. There are many renowned women fisheries biologists and ichthyologists that deserve continued recognition for their work and contributions to the scientific field. I asked our community to draw a fish species that was formally described by a woman. The majority of these posts brought to light female researchers that many of us knew nothing about.

Robyn drew a Mango (Stomatepia mongo), a fish species described by Ethelwynn Trewavas. She was an ichthyologist at the British Museum of Natural History.

Sarah went with an entire genus of lanternfishes, Diaphus. This group was described by Rosa Smith Eigenmann, who was a curator at the California Academy of Sciences and was considered the first woman ichthyologist in the United States.

Katie sketched an Adorned wrasse (Halichoeres cosmetics). This species was described by Margaret Mary Smith, who worked in South Africa and was also a well-known illustrator of fishes.

#FossilFishWeek

Many of our themes revolve around other hashtags currently trending on Twitter. I decided to jump on the #FossilFishWeek train and asked our community members to draw their favorite placoderm fish. Placoderms are a group of fossil fishes that evolved body armor on the anterior portions of their body. They lived during the Silurian until the end of the Devonian (~450 – 350 mya). One of the more popular placoderms is Dunkleosteus terrelli, a 20 ft long armored apex predator of the time. 

Speaking of Dunkleosteus, Matilda’s Lab illustrated a great rendition of one.

Fabiana went with Bolivosteus chacomensis, a fossil fish with interesting morphological projections. 

Alex posted this great collage of a multiple species in Galeaspida, a fossil fish group known as ‘helmet heads.’

Valentine’s Day – Fishy Reproductive Behavior

Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday this year, so our theme revolved around interesting reproductive behaviors of fishes. The Fisheries Blog has posted about fish reproduction before, so please make sure to check out those previous posts. Fish are known to exhibit a wide range of reproductive behaviors, and here I highlight some of the artistic renditions.

Ekaterina depicted two river lamprey’s mating. They are semelparous, and die after they spawn.

Camilo went with the interesting reproductive behavior of seahorses, where the male carries the fertilized eggs until they hatch.

Kelli  highlighted discus fish, where their young fry will feed on the mucus coating the bodies of their parents.


ARTIST OF THE MONTH

What is it like to participate in the #SundayFishSketch? Just ask our artist of the month, Kent Sorgon (@kntsrgn), who’s love of fish and love of art truly come through in his work.

How long have you been participating in the #SundayFishSketch?

I joined #SundayFishSketch in 2018 and have been contributing to the hashtag semi-regularly.

Why did you decide to participate and has it been difficult to sketch on a semi-regular basis?

I decided to join the community as a way to practice different art styles and at the same time draw different fish based on weekly prompts, most of the time learning about a fish I haven’t heard about while drawing them. I used to contribute consistently to the hashtag but the pandemic definitely made it hard to be in the right headspace to draw and create. I’m slowly making my way back to drawing more fish!

Do you believe your art has improved since joining the hashtag? 

Definitely! Seeing contributions pour in every Sunday to early Monday gives me a ton of insight on what I can do to make better drawings. I’ve also learned how to mix and match different techniques to make better fish sketches. 

What has been your favorite theme thus far and why? 

I am a big fan of themes that showcase an area’s native/endemic fish species because not only do you get to draw fish unique to a certain area, you also get to learn something about them, which I think is great because these fishes are often out of sight, out of mind of the general public. Posts about them in a huge social media platform like Twitter can help increase awareness about these fishes and the rich biodiversity of the places they call home.

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