Christmas fish

christmas fish fb
This is the image for my 2015 Christmas card. I was in a staff meeting at work, and was thinking about undersea creatures (because so far my Christmas cards have featured underwater animals), when this idea of a normally predatory angler fish setting aside his violent tendencies to use his luminescent lure as a “Christmas tree” light popped into my head. Here is my initial sketch:
I figured that I would have a coral shaped like a tree, with some starfish to look like decorations. I eventually got rid of the various other fish though, because I really liked the look of the little dumbo octopus (a real deep-ocean octopus) I’d drawn, and decided to just have more of them. I also added an eel to look a little like a streamer wrapping around the tree. Here is my cleaned-up sketch:
I think those octopuses look really cute, and I am particularly proud of the gentle and satisfied expression on the face of the angler fish. The finished image is pen and ink with watercolor (and a little help from Photoshop). I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

4 thoughts on “Christmas fish”

  1. This is excellent! I’m with Eric; could the image be licensed to put on cards? Obviously it’s too late for this year, but I’ve had an anglerfish Christmas card design in my head for a while, but lack the artistic talent to get it from my head to my cards. XD

    (I was originally thinking of just my personal cards to family and friends, but once the comment form asked for my website, I thought of another possibility…)

    1. Hi Patty, thanks for reaching out! I find sea creatures fascinating, and enjoyed seeing the items you’re selling. I would certainly be open to licensing this anglerfish image. You can send me an email at and I’d be happy to talk to you about it.


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