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#92 Dwarf Pygmy Goby

Critically Endangered

These fish are the 5th smallest in the world. They were imported to Germany from the Philippines in 1958 to be used in pet trade. They went extinct in the area of the Philippines they were from, but have been discovered now in a few other Southeast Asian locations. They eat plankton and live in brackish water that is fairly shallow, often muddy.

I decided to make things difficult on myself, and paint them life-sized. The largest they get is about 1.5cm. Because of my bad eyes, this gave me quite the literal headache. I can't do fine detail work with my glasses on, and I cannot look at the example pictures with my glasses off. It was a fairly frustrating back and forth while probably looking like a disapproving librarian part of the time. I've bemoaned the lack of detail I am able to get when working at this size before. This time it is insane. I may do another one just for the sake of detail. I would probably do the fish with micron pens, and then watercolour the background. The pencils I use do not hold a point well, and then when you add water, no matter how small a brush you use (size 20/0, the smallest I have), it will spread and bleed because it is watercolour. Still, I love having an animal that is life-sized in the series, and it makes me smile which is the reaction I always hope to get from others when they view my art.

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