Pick of the Week: 'Nikau Dancing with Flying Fish' by Paul Herbert

  • 27 May 2018
  • Sarah Holden

Paul Herbert's newest painting, 'Nikau Dancing with Flying Fish' is this week's Pick of the Week! Fresh to our Whangamata gallery walls, Paul's vibrant, eye-catching piece has already attracted lots of attention from our visitors who love his distinctive, highly stylized technique. 



We love the dynamic sense of movement in this piece - the swaying nikau trees, gentle waves of the sea lapping against the sandbank, and the ghost-like fish with their delicate, translucent fins, captured flying in mid-air. These elements all combine to create a unique juxtaposition of stillness and movement - where the active, lively trees, sea and fish are anchored in a frozen moment by the very style in which they are depicted. 

Paul's background as a graphic designer is often reflected in his paintings - with a natural sensibility for composition, Paul will often work with objects in odd numbers: in this case threes - three fish, three nikau palm trees. Creating a pleasing sense of harmony and aesthetic balance, the number three is considered to be lucky in some cultures, while it also has significance in many religions - notably the trinity.



Paul's characteristic black outlines allow the colours to really pop, and accentuates the refined shapes and details of each of the elements. A simple yet striking palette of azure blues, teals, and shades of forest green are layered in a negative space technique where the black is applied first as a ground. Paul can then utilize this to create shadows that appear effortlessly blended with an almost airbrush-like effect. 

A modest size at 500mm x 760mm, 'Nikau Dancing with Flying Fish' nevertheless lures the viewer in to take a closer look at the details and finesse of execution. See this work for yourself at our Whangamata gallery! 


Interested in enquiring about Paul Herbert's work? Contact us here! 


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