New in Shop: ‘Three Blue Tangs’

It’s like having a framed aquarium…

I’ve spent the past few days working with the colors in the ‘Three Blue Tangs’ print. It could have been done a day ago, but I wanted to fine-tune/double-check the colors after not looking at the print for 12 hours. Yes, I’m a little picky about the final product, but I think it’s worth it.

The colors look fantastic and the light blue background is the perfect shade of ‘tropical-waters blue.’ The blue of their bodies contrasts so well with the yellow in their tails.


Three Blue Tangs, 8x10 abstract fish print, by Cortney North


As I mentioned in my prior post, I really enjoyed the process of creating these fish. I know without a doubt that I’ll be doing more of these paintings. I’m not sure which fish species I’ll do next – it may be more Blue Tangs – but I’ll begin the planning process tonight.

Fish Inspiration

Blue tangs have been on my ‘Top 5 Favorite Fish Species’ for more years than ‘Finding Nemo’ has existed. I love the character Dory (though I admit I have not seen ‘Finding Dory’ – Is it good? Should I see it?). I first remember being stunned by the Blue Tang’s beauty at our local zoo’s aquarium. They would fly through the water with their shimmering blue bodies and ‘burst-of-sun’ tails.

As I look at the painting, especially when it’s in a frame, it reminds me of an aquarium. Perhaps it is the best type of aquarium – no maintenance!


Three Blue Tangs, 8x10 print in picture frame, by Cortney North

Painting Process

When I set out to paint the fish, I knew I didn’t want to have 100% representational colors. By that I mean I wanted the colors to be mostly accurate with some creative license added in to enhance the sense of atmosphere.

I love, love, love when painters add imagined colors such as punching up greens and blues in highlights and purples in shadows. I knew I wanted contrast with complimentary colors like orange and magenta, especially with the vibrant blues I was using.


Three Blue Tangs 11x14 print by Cortney North, fine artist

Those pops of color make me so happy! For me, it’s a different way of visualizing an image. My goal is to keep the perspectives and proportions anatomically correct meanwhile giving myself permission to have fun with colors. It was like painting outside the lines and it felt good.

So that’s my latest print. Tomorrow I’ll be prepping the original and get it ready for sale. If you’re interested in the original, it’s 11″x14″x1.5″. You can find the print for sale on my Etsy shop at:

The painting and the print are perfect for a bathroom, reading nook, beach-themed guest room and hallway. Where ever you’d like a little aquarium, that’s where this should go!

I hope you enjoy the print/painting and that’s a wrap for this post. Now I’m off to go fold some laundry and make some dinner. I know, I know, it’s unbelievable the life of an artist – so full of intrigue and excitement.

Wishing you a good rest of the day!