I saw someone’s anthro betta fish painting and I was infected with inspiration. For my anthro betta, I decided to model him after my own betta, Levi, who is one feisty guy. And since he's a betta, from Thailand, he is practicing Muay-Thai, a fighting style also from Thailand. 
There are so many things about this piece that are different for me-- not only did I finish it within 2 weeks, but I also did an action pose, a full-bodied humanoid, and water
Also weird, I decided to use a limited palette for this piece! I never do that! Here's the color scheme: http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/694737/Thought_Provoking 
Or instead of clicking that link to an awesome site (shame on you) you can just check out the palette above. It's the header image. If you hadn't noticed, it changes every time I update. I do it just for you. You're welcome. 

After I finish my plecostomus painting, no more fish. No more fish. I promise. 

(Watch, next week I'll be doing goldfish playing checkers or an anthropomorphic moray eel with a top hat and monocle. I am doomed to paint anthro fish forever.) 
schlock schlock schlock
grrsch grrsch grrsch
squish squish squish 
glorp glorp glorp
Oh by the way I bought two Gold Inca Mystery Snails. (I have named them Tulio and Miguel, and if you know why, you are cool.) I know why they got the name "mystery snail". It's a mystery where they keep all of those body parts that randomly appear when you aren't looking.  
where did those eyeballs come from
where were you keeping those

Speaking of mysterious-- BEHOLD! There lurks a Jomo beneath my chair. He is a sneaky devil. (I also refused to be embarrassed about my filthy-dirty carpet. Vacuuming is for chumps.) 
Levi wants to be angry and territorial at Jomo, but he's just so conflicted. I've never seen a fish look more concerned or contemplative than Levi did at this moment. Like during Jim Gaffigan's sketch about Cinnabons. "Should I sit in it or eat it?" So torn. 
Some images just need to exist. I believe that all artists encounter this fact at least once in their career. Sometimes a concept for a sculpture or painting is so profound that it has to be done right then, right there. 
This is what happens when I'm struck with sudden inspiration. 
This spawnin' ground ain't big enough fer the two of us...
I honestly cannot remember what possessed me to paint a sockeye salmon as a cowboy. I believe it was a multitude of factors. It may have something to do with my environmental science class final and a painting of an anthropomorphic betta fish I found on Deviant Art. Either way, I'm pretty happy with how Sockeye McGee came out. He's the baddest euryhaline* this side of Tennessee.

If you'd like a print of Sockeye McGee, send me an email, we'll talk pricing, and I'll puzzle over your art taste for weeks. 

*fish joke
It's official-- I am addicted to betta fish. Straight up. I know have two of my own, and one that my boyfriend and I share. Here they are! ♥
This is Levi, short for Leviathin, because he thinks he's hot stuff. He's my second betta ever and definitely one of my favorites. I've trained him to recognize his food containers and he always comes over to see me when I put my face to his tank. :) He harasses the snail in his tank, Gary Oak, but in the end he's kind of a lightweight and doesn't end up doing any harm. He's totally silly and I love him. I don't think a fish has ever brought me more happiness than Levi. 

This is Irwin, named for his crocodile-like stripes, which faded when his health returned. I rescued him from really pathetic conditions at a certain pet store... While he was in his holding tank when I brought him home, he jumped out and damaged his beautiful tail fins. But now he's happy as a clam, swimming around his bigger tank, being super pretty (even if he is a bit damaged). 

And here's the newest addition: Boreas! He's a present for my boyfriend, since he's never had a pet of his own before. Boreas is another pet store find, and boy am I lucky to have found him! Look at those beautiful markings! When my boyfriend's new house is all set up and ready to be inhabited, Boreas will live in a 10gal community tank. He deserves it. His fins are like really expensive watercolors being mixed... He really is spectacular. 

I find it hilarious that people think bettas are just those boring fish which sit in jars on desks and cubicles and only come in red and blue. I aim to destroy this misconception. 

•Bettas come in thousands of colors. Think of a color, any color-- a betta comes in it. There are black and white ones, orange, yellow, blue, purple, pink, crimson, gold, green... every one is unique and every one is beautiful. 

•Bettas have personalities. Owning three bettas, I can tell them apart based on their behavior. Levi is more playful and active, Irwin is a bit shy, and Boreas is kind of goofy. Bettas swim up to their owners when being viewed and are much more intelligent than your average goldfish. 

•Bettas are entertaining. When stored in little cups at pet stores, they just sit there-- but if you lived in a closet, wouldn't you be bored, too? When bettas are properly housed, they are very active and will entertain you for hours. Levi is particularly amusing. He hides in plants and "panics" when he gets stuck, but then does it again, seemingly for the fun of it. 

•Bettas CAN be housed with other tropical fish. If the water temperature and qualities are the same, bettas CAN live with other fish. As long as they are given ample room and housed with gentle fish without long fins, bettas live peacefully with others. They just need to establish their own turf. 

Go buy a betta fish, they're super entertaining!