Author Archives: nicklaferriere

About nicklaferriere

Full-time Artist in the fishing and hunting industries.

NEW Decals / Stickers!

Etsy – Art by Nick Laferriere Shop

HOT off the press!

NEW Owl – Ying Yang Shirt on Amazon!

Check out my latest shirt design, a pencil drawing featuring two of our most iconic raptors, the Snowy Owl and Great-horned Owl! Available now through Amazon.com (USA).
AMAZON – Ying Yang Owl Shirt

WHC Federal Duck Stamp Entry

I’m anxiously awaiting to hear how my pintail painting faired this year in the WHC Federal Duck Stamp Competition (Canada). It was a tough one but in the end I’m pleased with how it came together. I’m still learning on how to paint birds. So much intricate details involved!

Fingers crossed…

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Wave Riders – Walleye Painting

I’ve been fortunate to have witnessed some truly incredible moments while guiding and fishing for walleye throughout my life. Some of the most memorable events are when the wind is blowing, creating wind-induced currents. Fish were stacked up along windswept shorelines and points, capitalizing on baitfish getting tossed around in the waves, making for easy pickings. They also aren’t shy from airborne predators because of the surface agitation, giving them cover from aerial attacks, and will be feeding in very shallow water. This is the inspiration behind this piece, to try to encapsulate the action onto canvas.

Planning out this piece was a fun process, creating balance with the wave action and the sand bottom, complimented by a pair of hunting walleye and a school of baitfish getting tossed about. I wanted to make the piece vibrant with contrasting blue water elements, sand bottom and the gold of the walleye.

Wave Riders Walleye Painting

Snatch ‘n’ Grab – Pike Painting

My next piece is already underway, journeying into the underwater world of Esox. Depicting one of the most celebrated times for pike anglers, the post spawn, when pike put the feed bag back on to try to recover from the arduous task of passing the torch to the next generation of water wolves.

Fuelled by hundreds of hours chasing pike and the unforgettable memories witnessing pike hit the afterburners to grab their target, this piece aims to stop time and appreciate the tremendous power and force these fish impose on their targets. As burst predators relying heavily on ambush, pike are notorious for spending a great deal of time, when the water is still cold, in shallow, weedy environments where their camouflage and patience often rewards them.

Snatch n grab pike

Work in progress, featuring a post spawn water wolf taking advantage of the high waters of spring to snatch a meal.

This was a heck of a challenge to complete and I’m really happy with how it came together. I had a very vague image in my mind of how I wanted it to turn out and put a lot of faith in the process. The vision for the piece continually evolved the more I worked on it and slowly took shape. Throughout the process, I took the painting off the easel and looked at in a mirror and stood back to see how it balanced. I wanted to take the viewer into the pike’s world and give an “in your face” experience.

Having the lighting coming from the back of the subjects, made for an interesting challenge. I had to think outside the box and create the illusion with lighting showing through the fins and having the shadows cast towards the viewer. The effect was challenging but I think adds a unique element to the piece. We’re used to seeing paintings and photos with front or side lighting, so pulling this effect off took a bit of extra thinking.

And lastly, adding the finishing details was one of my most fun parts of the piece. I added little swirls of blood coming from where the pike’s teeth are penetrating the sucker, pearlescent scale highlights on the pike, and I hid a perch in the lower right of the painting as well.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this one and I’m glad the journey is over. =P I’m finding the more paintings I work on, the moment when I put the brushes down is a great moment. It’s closure on weeks of being absorbed into a painting.

Snatch n Grab Pike Painting

Finished Pike Painting

“Arctic Assault” Lake Trout/Grayling Painting

Currently working on an acrylic piece, bringing a big dinosaur Lake Trout to life! I’ve had this idea for quite some time and I’m enjoying the challenge! Lakers make for a challenging subject due to the amount of detail and number of spots!

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Lake Trout acrylic painting in progress

After a game-time line change, I decided to add a grayling instead of a lure. The results couldn’t have turned out better and I’m happy to announce the completion of this piece.

Laker Grayling Painting

Done with acrylics on birch board, this 18 x 24″ painting took roughly a month to complete from concept to completion.

Giclee prints will be available soon and the original painting is available for purchase as well. Please contact me for pricing.

River Wolves – EP!C Arthouse

Fall marks the annual Kokanee run and also, some of the most epic Bull Trout action all season! As the spawning Bulls drop back down river, they are met by hordes of spawning Kokanee Salmon, the perfect bite-sized snack to regain their strength after the rigours of passing on the torch to the next generation. Bullies gorge themselves and fish can double their weight in just a few short weeks, preparing them for the long winter.

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Because Bull Trout don’t spawn every year, the non-spawning fish will get in on the action sooner than the ones that are spawning that year. These fish pile on the weight very quickly as they gorge on Kokanee salmon. They are typically bright silver with shades of green, blue, and violet. These fish will be the spawners the next year, having stockpiled extra weight and stored fat to last them through the rigours of migrating to the spawning grounds and the spawning act.

The spawners in contrast will still be sporting some of their colour, although it starts to fade once spawning has finished. These fish will typically not spawn the following year and will take the year to regain their weight and heal any injuries they endured during spawning.

I wanted to do a special piece of art that illustrated this annual event and thus, the River Wolf shirt was born. Bull Trout are truly incredible apex predators and their ferocity is very shark-like when they turn on the feed!

EP!C River Wolf Bull Trout Shirt
Sport your colours with the River Wolf shirt!
EP!C River Wolf Bully T-shirt