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Painting Koi Fish and Water Lilies with Opaque Black Film

Project Description: Create your own underwater painting with Grafix Dura-Bright Opaque Black Film and Golden Fluid Paints.

Designed by: Sandra Bacon

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging


  • Grafix Dura-Bright Opaque Black Film
  • Golden Fluids: Titanium White, Sepia, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Quinacridone Crimson, Diarylide Yellow, Hansa Yellow Medium, Cobalt Turquoise, and Interference Blue
  • Copy Paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors

Steps to Make This:

  1. On copy paper, trace shapes of fish and water lilies.
  2. Cut the fish and water lily shapes out with scissors.
  3. Immerse the shapes in the water, and while moist lay them gently on Grafix Dura-Bright Opaque Black Film making sure to have a nice composition.
  4. Once the fish shapes are mounted on the page (not glued, just wet, and allowed to dry) paint the outlines of the rocky bottom that the fish are swimming over. You can paint the outlines right on to the paper if you choose- paint a variety of sizes- group some small ones together, and have some larger ones broken up by the fish shapes.
  5. Paint the outlines in several colors. Mix a variety of silver, white, sepia, and the blue and red to make several different tones, and filled them in.
  6. When dry, add one directional light and make all the rocks have the same lighting. In this painting, the light is coming from the lower left, so the highlight is consistent throughout.
  7. Next, take the paper shapes off- and paint the fish and water lilies with solid colors.
  8. Add the pattern in by detailing the flower- again using the lower left as the light source. You can add a cast shadow from the fish unto the rocks, making sure to round off the shadow as it follows the curve of the rocks.
  9. The fishes’ shadows are a darker version of the rocks underneath.
  10. Add blue shadows all around the flower and the lily pad to highlight that they are sitting on top of the water.
  11. Using the interference blue, a very small amount of the phthalo blue and some gloss medium move the glaze randomly over the right side of the painting with just a hint of the blue on the left. This makes the fish underneath the water.
  • Grafix
  • Your Source for Creative Plastic Films
  • 5800 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Maple HeightsOhio 44137
  • Phone: 216-581-9050
  • Fax: 216-581-9041
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