A Great Catch! Dimensional Fish Plaque


A great painting project: Dimensional Fish Plaque
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic

  • Autumn Brown

  • Bahama Purple

  • Black

  • Black Green

  • Blue Heaven

  • Blue Lagoon

  • Cactus Green

  • Dark Forest Green

  • Hippo Grey

  • Lichen Grey

  • Light Ivory

  • Mocha Brown

  • Oasis Green

  • Periwinkle Blue

  • Purple

  • Rhythm’N Blue

  • Sea Grass

  • Spice Tan

  • Violet Ice

  • Wedgwood Green

  • White

  • Delta Perm Enamel

  • Azure Blue


Athena Nos. 4 and 8 dry brush (Series 1200), Nos. 8 and 12 flat shader (Series 7000), No. 1 script liner (Series 7300),No. 6 filbert (Series 7500), 1/2 mop (Series 9100)

Other Supplies
  • St. Lawrence River Decoys Large Striper Bass, No. 108 (21 “-long)

  • Sandpaper

  • Soft cloth

  • Delta Faux Finish Glaze Base. Clear

  • Delta Gel Blending Medium

  • Paper towels

  • Tracing paper

  • Transfer paper

  • Stylus

  • Waxed palette

  • Eraser

  • Water-based varnish, satin

  • Glue

  • Blue cord, 4′


  1. Sand wood surface and wipe free of dust using the soft cloth.

  2. Use a paper towel to wipe entire fish with a glaze of Lichen Grey + Faux Finish Glaze (1:1). Allow to dry. Again, lightly sand and wipe.

  3. Trace pattern onto tracing paper. Using transfer paper and the stylus, transfer main pattern lines to the surface, omitting petal and lighthouse details. Align lighthouse so that antenna is pointing towards center of tailfin.


  1. Note: Background basecoat is the basecoat for the lighthouse. Walk color out on palette to create a soft float of Hippo Grey and apply along the outside vertical edges. Mop to soften.
    Highlight with a drybrush of Light Ivory, beginning a little to the right of center. Brush the color out toward both outside edges. If necessary, lightly soften the shading with a drybrush of Light Ivory. After dry brushing, create soft texture in the highlight area using a pouncing motion and Light Ivory. Repeat with White, covering about two-thirds of the same area.

  2. Transfer pattern details. Shade with a float of Hippo Grey above and below the three horizontal band lines. Highlight the right-center of the bands using the script liner with White. Cover about two-thirds of the total length of the band.
    Brighten highlights on the lighthouse between the bands with a reverse float of White. Apply a light float of Bahama Purple on left edge of lighthouse to create the reflected light. Apply a float of Spice Tan to top right corner of lighthouse and above flowers/leaves. Apply a wash of Periwinkle Blue inside light on top of lighthouse.

  3. Base roof, walkway, door, supports and window with Black. Base windowpanes and out-line window with Light Ivory. With Hippo Grey, outline sides and bottom of window and apply a float to the left and under window. Use the script liner to drybrush diagonal reflection marks on windowpanes. With a drybrush of Hippo Grey, highlight right side of roof. Brighten with Bahama Purple. Apply a float of Hippo Grey along right edge of doorway.

  4. Use the script liner with Hippo Grey to highlight walkway and line bottom of roof. Brighten with Violet Ice. Drybrush reflection marks on the light using the script liner with White. Using diagonal strokes, drag a little Violet Ice inside doorway to represent light.

Warm leaves
  1. Base warm leaves (indicated on pattern with “W”) with Wedgwood Green. With a float of Dark Forest Green, shade the stem end of leaf and up the center vein crease. Deepen shading with floats of Black Green.

  2. Highlight along both sides of vein with a drybrush of Sea Grass. Add Light Ivory to the brush and brighten.

  3. Tint some edges with Mocha Brown + Purple. Line veins with Sea Grass + a touch of Wedgwood Green.

Warm and cold leaves

Cool leaves
  1. Base cool leaves (indicated on pattern with “C) with Oasis Green. With a float of Dark Forest Green, shade the stem end of leaf and up the center vein crease. Deepen shading with floats of Black Green.

  2. Highlight with a drybrush of Oasis Green + Light Ivory. Add more Light Ivory to the brush and brighten.

  3. Tint some edges with floats of Bahama Purple. Line veins with Cactus Green + Light Ivory.

  1. Hydrangeas are painted in two stages. The first stage is based wet-on-wet, then overstroked while the base is still wet. Complete this stage on each flower before continuing to another. Use the No. 6 filbert for the entire process. When applying the basecoat, pick up Gel Blending Medium in the brush to slow the drying time.
    Apply Purple to bottom and left edge of flower. Wipe brush. Pick up Blue Lagoon and apply next to the Purple area and around remaining outside edge, leaving an area in the middle for Bahama Purple. Gently blend where the first two colors meet. Apply Bahama Purple in the center area and blend into previous colors.

  2. With Periwinkle Blue, over-stroke the four petal blossoms around the outside edge, picking up Blue Heaven as you I move towards the center. On just a few of the brightest petals, apply Violet Ice in right-center area. Allow to dry. Groom the petal edges with floats of Rhythm’N Blue in dark areas and floats of Blue Heaven or Violet Ice in light areas. Try to keep the smaller blossoms lighter by using less of the darker undercoat colors.

  3. Float a brush mix of Purple + Rhythm’N Blue between flowers and around starfish. Dot centers with Blue Heaven in dark areas and with Violet Ice in light areas. Apply stems to smaller blossoms using the script liner with a double-load of Dark Forest Green and Wedgwood Green.

  1. Base with Spice Tan. Shade around outside edges with a float of Mocha Brown. Repeat with Autumn Brown. Use the script liner with Autumn Brown to dab the center star shape.

  2. Highlight center area of arms with a drybrush of Spice Tan + Light Ivory. Stipple the same color mix in the same areas to add texture. Brighten right side of starfish with a drybrush of Light Ivory.

  3. Using the script liner with Spice Tan + Light Ivory, dab a small highlight on the top of the starshaped center. Odd reflected light to left edges with a float of Bahama Purple.

How to draw awesome starfish

Postcard and clamshell
  1. Base postcard and clamshell with, one coat of Light Ivory. With a float ( Hippo Grey, shade shell between sections and next to flower and shade postcard next to flower. Highlight right end of postcard with a float of White. Highlight center of each shell section with a dry-brush of White.

  2. Base stamp with Mocha Brown overstroke with Bahama Purple. Apply writing with Hippo Grey.

  3. Apply a light float of Bahama Purple along bottom of shell and postcard. With a float of Mocha Brown + Purple, tint top edges of shell.

  1. Dampen sky area along both sides of lighthouse with gel. Using the No. 12 flat shader, apply a sideload float of Blue Heaven along sides of lighthouse. Mop to soften.

  2. With a float of Blue Heaven, create several hazy clouds above and to both sides of lighthouse. Mop to soften. Highlight tops of clouds with a float of Violet Ice.

  3. Dampen area under flowers with gel. Shade under design area with a float of Mocha Brown + Purple + a touch of Hippo Grey. Mop to blend.

Finish with drawing the sky


  1. Erase any remaining pattern lines. Apply several coats of varnish following manufacturer’s instructions. Allow adequate drying time between applications.

  2. Apply two coats of Azure Blue to back of eye. Allow to dry. Glue eye into socket. Hang using the cord lied to desired length.

If you liked this summer project, go check out our Turquoise Ocean Project.

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