The Fish Chess Series

Let me show you a very special project that I accomplished in the 2017 year. The idea of this series came to me when I visited a fishing and hunting exhibition. Such things are a true creative discovery!

So I thought: what if I represent various species of freshwater fish as chess figures?

To emphasize the notional connection between the fish and the chess roles, I’ve hidden a small chess figure in each drawing.

Zander, the King

A zander is a wonderful fish; its eyes are glowing in the dark 😀 It usually lives in the bottom part of the water body, near the stones and pebble.

I used a delicate hatching to form the shapes of the stones and create the details. This drawing has much light.

And this is how I imagine the Chess King:

Pike, the Queen

A pike loves underwater flora! 😀 This is why I put it into a company of water lily and numerous algae. The direction of weed adds dynamism to the composition.

As opposed to the previous drawing, the Pike is full of medium-width hatching and cross-hatching. The dark areas help to create an illusion of contrast and depth.

For drawing the water lily, I used dots. They are a perfect choice for velvety natural textures.

Perch, the Bishop

A perch feels comfortable among shells and mussels.

I often use natural references for my drawings. Luckily, I do have real shells at my disposal 🙂

I used both organic lines made with a brushpen and fine liner hatching to create a visual variety. Thicker lines in the bottom part of the drawing divide it into a foreground and a background.

The complete drawing:

Catfish, the Castle

For this artwork, I focused on the textures and their contrast, emphasizing the dark, intense spots.

A dark, gloomy river bottom as it is!

Asp, the Knight

An asp loves jumping and making a noise, so I draw it among water splashes.

The goal here was to make a dynamic composition, full of action and contrast, so the fish figure is light and the weed are darker.

Bleak, the Pawn

A pawn is a small fish – a perfect choice for making it the pawn.

I put it in a stylized decorative whirlpool; it is so contrasting in comparison with the upper part of the drawing, where the fish is.


As you might notice, all these drawings are slightly different in terms of contrast, details, and textures. I wanted to make this series harmonious and united, but still – diverse. 🙂

For example, the Zander artwork is lighter, as if more aerial than the Pike, and the Catfish drawing is much darker and detailed than the Perch.

The opening and closing artworks look similar just for the same reason – unity.

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