I wanted to capture a very specific feeling in this small scene, that of unexpectedly encountering an anthro otter for the first time during a swim. It's quite memorable!
There are many little technical experiments in this painting as I keep searching for my own way to abstract plant shapes and portray outdoor scenes in general. While I don't care for strict realism, one thing I want to do is show more specific and recognizable plants, because often I maked them pretty generic and that's increasingly bothering me. Making the plants recognizable is not too different from keeping the anthropomorphized animal recognizable after all, there's plenty of room for stylization but a few key traits of the plant should be there and the context should make sense overall. In this case the plants are hopefully recognizable as water crowfoot.
My commitment for the next personal paintings (when there's an outdoor setting of course) is to show as much as possible specific plants and habitats, doubling down on the effort to use specific references. Even though it might make no difference for most viewers, I want those who know that kind of environment to recognize it and appreciate the research effort.