Jen Richards

Wildlife artist


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While documenting the progress of this painting I’ve mentioned quite a bit about how cool whale sharks are. They’re so cool, in fact, that August 30th was officially declared International Whale Shark Day back in 2008, but of course I wasn’t able to get this (12 x 30) painting finished in time to coincide with it. You can have a belated celebration over the internet by reading these two blog posts though, both written by renowned whale shark BFF Dr. Al Dove, who was also kind enough to offer me some pointers in this piece right after getting back from doing fieldwork with the real thing out in the Gulf of Mexico.

The fish swimming alongside the whale shark here are juvenile golden trevallies. These little yellow companions are frequently observed congregating around and following much larger animals like whale sharks, manta rays, groupers, and even dugongs, using them as a kind of mobile shelter. As both an artist and ocean enthusiast I love the visual impact of two very different species associating with one another (though it’s a bit one-sided in this case), especially when the colours offer such contrast. And of course, after painting a very large fish covered in spots, what I really needed was to then paint fourteen smaller ones covered in stripes…!

I always struggle to take good photos of my larger pieces that represent the correct colours and satisfactory details, so I welcome any recommendations for businesses that could help me out in the Atlanta area. For now, here are a few close ups of the trevallies that at least show some of the work that went into them.


Author: Jen

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