Captain Dave Vollenweider of Live to Fish Guide Service caught this huge brook trout in the Pequest River in Warren County, New Jersey after an afternoon of wading, catching and releasing a variety of smaller trout species. I took this photo of him beaming with satisfaction before releasing the fish back into the river to go on to continue its life cycle. From the reference photo, I used a light box to accurately capture the imagery. The rest was freehand watercolor painting, and it was such a pleasure working on this. While the brook trout may not be perfectly proportioned, the splash of bright orange along its belly was the perfect complement to Captain Dave’s blue checked shirt and solid blue tee. For me, the key was getting the shadows right on his clothing and face. It was a sunny day, and shadows cast really provided fantastic value contrast. I especially like the shadow of his form cast onto the murky, river water in which he was kneeling.