navigation links at bottom of page
Painting & Finishing Processes
Painted Ocean Catfish [Click image for 12-inch version.]
~ The solid avocado green background color was painted first with a 3-4-inch paint roller. This is the type of "roller" that you would use for wall "trim" when painting the walls of a room in your house.
~ After background is dry, the details are painted ontop. The dark-blue lines were painted with a stiff flat 1/2-inch brush. The greenish-yellow was applied in fast movements with paint squeezed from a plastic applicator bottle. The same technique was used to apply the light-blue lines to create the 3-dimensionality on the sides of the fish body. [Click on the Catfish image for larger image to see these details.] The light-blue areas on the face were also applied with the flat brush strokes to create solid color areas... looks almost like a silkscreen flat color area.
[click on image for larger version]
~ As a final, textural touch that also adds a fun and simple "animation" to this fish [with movements by the youth performers], cut lengths of light blue chenille knitting yarn are glued to the catfish face to create its "wiskers."
Ocean anchovies [Click image for larger version.]
~ The painting of this fish is fast because the lines and details did not have to be perfect, actually it's better using fast-painted "gestures" with the edges of approximately 1/2-inch, stiff paint brushes and also using the plastic applicator bottle to apply the silver "glitter" glue. Kids love glitter glue!
~ The only unusual painting technique was used to create the negative lines of the "gills" on the fish's face. After the medium-grey colored background color was rolled-on and allowed to dry, the gill lines were applied by using "rubber-cement" in a small plastic applicator bottle.
~ After the rubber-cement gills lines were dry, then the pink and the blue painted areas were painted rigth ontop of the rubber-cement areas. When these colored areas are dry, you rub your finger-tips over the rubber cement areas, and that removes the rubber-cement and with it, comes the pink and blue colors over those lines. Thus, the rubber-cement "resist" barrier protected the background color underneath for the gill lines.
~ The final touch for this fish is the fake, oval rhinestone glued inside the big, white circle, eye areas. Click on the anchovie fish image above to see details better.
Sea Bass [Click on image for 12-inch version to see details.]
~ After the dark, greyish-green background is rolled-on and dry, tape the stencil face ontop, and use chalk to create the lines that will become the color areas. Use a small flat brush to paint the colored facial details. [click image above to see details]
~ Next, use the chalk to draw the wavy, vertical areas on the fish body.
~ Use the tips of flat brushes filled with cornflower yellow and then the light blue, to create a pattern of vertical "dashes" representing a type of fish scales.
Sea Bass showing mesh that created "fish scales"
[Click on image for larger version to see details.]
~ A thick, thread-constructed netting that is re-cycled from potato or onion sacks in a grocery market, was used to create a different "fish scales" pattern. The mesh is placed ontop of the wavy areas in a vertical way to cover the chalk lines. [You are able to see the chalk lines through it.]
~ A whitish cream-colored paint is used on the end of a round, stiff brush and then held perpendicular to the cardboard. Then it's used to "stipple" the paint over/through the mesh, in a somewhat "dry-brush" technique. Used different amounts of paint and pressure so that the "scale pattern" is uneven and natural-looking. [Click on the image version above to be able to see the subtle differences.]
Cord is knotted on the front-side.
~ The cord was knotted on the front-side, threaded through metal hardware "washers" that were glued onto the front and back-side of the cardboard to prevent the hole becoming larger from "wear" of usage in youth rehearsals. Kids treat objects roughly and so this was taken into consideration when selecting "durable" materials. The cardboard is double-thick corregated and fiberglas reinforced [used to make commercial, custom-made shipping boxes for paintings, glassware, antique objects].
Cord for holding onto during performance & monologue text
[Click on image to read the performance monologue text.]
~ Although our 4th and 5th grade performers were asked to memorize their spoken performance monologues, only two students were able to do this. So just in case nervousness got to our youth performers, we printed-out their monologue text and taped it to the back-side of the fishes cardboard cutout. Then they could read it if necessary when they spoke it into the performance microphone.
Metal hardware "washers" are glued to the cardboard
offering re-inforcement from hard usage by youth in rehearsals.
That's it... how we made our fish performance objects!
REMEMBER... you certainly are free to make your fishes in anyway that suits your needs! Using local, natural materials, or the flotsam and jetsum washed up onto a local beach, might be very beautiful also.
Pick another ocean topic that stirs Your heart,
& create a new ocean project!
Click here for "how-to" tips...
PROJECT NAVIGATION LINKS:
project l kids blog l performance l partners
background l ocean facts l challenges
resources l how you can help
how-to create your own l "spin-offs"