Introducing the Under The Sea Collection

I like to think of these vibrant coral reef scenes as a combination of my florals and fish. Similar to a floral bouquet, the amazing variety of coral species gives me freedom to play and experiment with new marks and patterns. When combined with the playful, quirky personalities of the fish, the result is a rich underwater scene full of life.

Photo Collage Reference for Carnival Coast

My process for creating this series has allowed me to utilize some of my skills as a graphic designer. I begin by creating a “digital sketch,” which involves collaging together different reference photos in Photoshop until I achieve the perfect composition. Eventually it is my goal to learn to scuba dive and take my own reference photos! But for now, I acquire licenses to use photos by others.

Progress of Carnival Coast

From there I approach the piece much like all of my other work: a messy and expressive base, followed by the build-up of layers, with increasing detail as I move from background to foreground.

Marine Moonlight by Dora Knuteson

Want to know a secret?

One of the reasons I prefer working in acrylic is its quick drying time that allows me to quickly add new layers. It also gives me freedom to change my mind mid-way through… The painting pictured above ("Marine Moonlight") used to have a sting ray in the lower right corner, and I changed the color of the lower left coral three times!

Watch for more to be added to this collection over time — I'm not done yet!


Shop the Collection