#SundayFishSketch O-fish-al Art Recap

The #SundayFishSketch is a Twitter hashtag that encourages like-minded individuals to incorporate art and fish into their weekly lives. It is a great community to join for beginning sketchers and is also a way for seasoned artists to continue to practice. Many of the #SundayFishSketch themes can be fun getaways from your current life and others touch on relevant and current world topics. The O-fish-al Art Recap has been away for a while, but I am happy to be back! Continue reading for highlights of some of the #SundayFishSketch themes, facts, and art that occurred over the last few months.


Springtime daylight savings is never a fun event for anyone. Losing an hour of your day can certainly throw a wrench in the morning routine. In order to remind all of the #SundayFishSketch community of this most celebrated springing ahead event, the weekend’s theme was springing/jumping fishes. 

Although water dwellers, many species of fish jump out of the water on a regular basis. Whether to escape predation, jump for prey, or to just hit you in the face, jumping fishes can be a sight to see. 

George sketched a Pseudotropheus williamsi (a.k.a. Blue Lips), an African cichlid and water column feeder; it has been seen jumping out of the water to eat invertebrates on rocks.

Nilo went with Gasteropelecus sternicla or the common hatchetfish. This aquarium favorite is known to jump out of the water when alarmed or to capture prey. 

Katie drew Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp), an invasive species of fish in many parts of the world. Silver carp frequently jump out of the water when disturbed and can reach upwards of 10 ft.


When a scientist discovers a new species of organism, often times they describe that species and give it a binomial scientific name. Giving the species a name allows scientists and the general public to better communicate about what organisms we are referring to, either for research or general education. The research of naming and classifying organisms is called ‘taxonomy.’ March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate, we asked the #SundayFishSketch community to sketch different species of fish that were described by women scientists. 

Heather illustrated Danio kyathit (orange-finned danio), a species minnow from Myanmar that was described by Dr. Fang in 1998. Dr. Fang had worked extensively with species in the genus Danio throughout her research career.

Stephanie sketched Trachurus picturatus, the blue jack mackerel. This species of fish was described by Sarah Bowdich in 1825. Sarah was both a writer and an illustrator, and her work focused on natural history, expeditions, and freshwater fishes.

Ben drew a rather disgruntled Malthopsis gnoma (gnome batfish). The gnome batfish was described by Margaret Bradbury in 1998. She began her career in ichthyology and herpetology  as a staff artist at the (now) Field Museum in Chicago, and her Ph.D. work focused on batfishes.


One extremely famous fossil fish genus is †Dunkleosteus. Described in the 1800’s, fish species in this genus are part of a larger group of extinct fishes called placoderms that possessed armored plates and heads. Since the rest of their bodies aren’t easily fossilized, scientists have used various methods to estimate placoderm lengths and sizes. Until recently, the extinct pelagic predator Dunkleosteus terrelli, was thought to possess a longer body more akin to a great white shark. A published analysis by Dr. Engelman, using new metrics and methods, greatly reduced the estimated body length of D. terrelli. The resulting scientific community and social-media surge is littered with fun recreations of new #ChunkyDunky’s hypothesized body shape.

Filipe imagined our dear Dunk as a goldfish.

Justin, and a surprising amount of other people as well, illustrated Dunk with a sunfish body.

Erica’s take includes a chunky oarfish as well.


What is it like to participate in the #SundayFishSketch? Just ask our artist of the month, Charlene da Silva (@mmustelus), a shark expert with a creative pastime.

How long have you been participating in the #SundayFishSketch?

I’ve been participating in SundayFishSketch since 2018! I can’t believe it’s been so long.

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

I love the sundayfishsketch community- they’re a lovely bunch of like minded people. All very supportive.  Decided to get serious about my fish drawings and being given a prompt forces me to try something new. I’m always drawing these days, not always fish and I’m very busy these days with commissions. 

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

Absolutely!  I’ve also changed media, gone from watercolours to working strictly in procreate. Digital is easier with toddlers armed with crayons about. I’m also very mobile with my art now.

What has been your favorite theme thus far and why? 

I loved the Gettys Museum challenge! I loved the concept and it generated some amazing pieces that day. 

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