3D Tropical Fish Painting on Canvas

This tropical fish painting is three dimensional and full of beautiful colors!

This tropical fish painting is near and dear to my heart. It was inspired by a large piece of wall art I saw while on vacation a couple of years ago in Florida. We stayed with my good friend Jodi and she had a large tropical painting hanging in her guest bathroom. I loved the textures and the three dimensional aspects of it, so it stuck with me for a long time before I finally decided to make my own version.

This tropical fish wall art was the inspiration for Amanda's 3D tropical fish painting.

Pictured above is the painting from Jodi’s house. It was actually a lot bigger than mine. I don’t know what it measured, but I would guess it was close to 48-inches wide.

Amanda and Jodi in Florida

This is me and Jodi. I had worked with her online since 2007 and we became close friends. She is one of my best friends on earth and I am very grateful to have met such a funny, kind-hearted and generous person. The world needs more Jodis. :) Love you girlfriend. If you would like to see more pictures of our trip to Florida, and get a great recipe too, head over to this post on my food blog – Key West Grilled Chicken Salad.

The products I used to create my 3D tropical fish painting

In order for my painting to have a similar three dimensional affect, I used a couple of products. For the fish outlines I used a white Americana Writer, and for the sea floor I used DecoArt’s paintable texture – Stucco. Jodi’s painting had a lot more of the bright, vibrant tropical colors. My decor is a bit more beachy-muted. So I chose colors that would work with my room’s look.

step 1 - draw the sea floor and add the stucco

First I used pencil to draw the line for the sea floor onto the canvas. Next, I used a palette knife to add the Texture Stucco to the canvas. Using an old scruffy brush, I touched it to the stucco and then lifted straight up. When I was finished, I wanted it a bit thicker in a couple of spots, so I added just a bit more and texturized again.  This had to dry for several hours.

Amanda drew out the fish, but created patterns for you to use

Using the photo of the painting that Jodi emailed to me, I drew the fish out on paper. I’ve included them as patterns in the printable instructions below if you want to paint this yourself.

Paint the background, including sky, water and sea floor.

I found it easiest to turn the canvas upside down to paint the blue layer that sits above the sea floor. I used Spa Blue and painted a couple of inches above the sea floor section. Then I used Taffy Cream on the remainder of the background.

I used a dry brush method to blend the two layers together. Simply dip your brush in paint then run the bristles across a rag or paper towel to remove the excess. You want to get a lot of the paint off so that when you touch the canvas with the brush you have to really apply pressure for paint to show up.

Paint on the seaweed and paint the textured sea floor.

I used pencil to draw on the seaweed and painted them with Green Mist. I also mixed a little Green Mist with black and with white for a little shading and highlighting. Next, I used a household sponge to add color to the sea floor. I dipped the sponge into the paint and dabbed off the excess onto a soft cloth. The first color I added was Desert Sand followed by touches of Natural Buff. For the background, I used Natural Buff over the Taffy Cream. To add more highlights, I used Light Buttermilk.

use the fish patterns and transfer them to the canvas

Now you’re going to need the patterns I’ve provided for the fish. I cut them out and traced around them with a pencil, then added in the few details. You could also use transfer paper for this step.

Use the Americana Writer to draw the fish then paint with a sponge

I used the Americana Writer to trace the pencil lines for the fish. This has to dry for a few hours. Once it was dry, I used the sponge to add Coral Blush to the center fish and Orange Twist to the two end fish. Dab all the way around the fish and a bit inside as well. To add the highlights in the center of the fish I used Light Buttermilk. Finally, I used Soft Black to add the eyes and the stripe on the fish on the left. Once everything was dry I gave it two coats of Americana Acrylic Sealer spray in matte finish.

Here are some close ups so you can see the texture a little better.

Another close up of the 3D fish

Close up of the 3D fish

Another close up of the textured sea floor

Close up of the textured sea floor

Beautiful canvas painting of tropical fish with a three dimensional affect - by @amandaformaro

I hope you enjoyed this project and it sparks a little inspiration for you!

More coastal decor

If you like coastal or beach themed project, I’ve chosen some of my favorites for you below!


3D Tropical Fish on Canvas

Rating: 51

Craft Time: 1 hour

Drying Times: 4 hours

Total Time: 5 hours

3D Tropical Fish on Canvas

What you need:

    Americana Paint:
  • Desert Sand
  • Natural Buff
  • Taffy Cream
  • Light Buttermilk
  • Green Mist
  • Spa Blue
  • Coral Blush
  • Orange Twist
  • Other supplies:
  • Americana Writer - White
  • DecoArt Texture Stucco
  • Paintbrush
  • Palette knife
  • 18x24 canvas
  • Scruffy brush
  • Household sponge
  • Patterns fish 1 fish 2 fish 3

What you do:

  1. Use pencil to draw the line for the sea floor onto the canvas. Use a palette knife to add the Texture Stucco to the canvas. Using an old scruffy brush, touch it to the stucco and then lift straight up.
  2. Use Spa Blue and paint a couple of inches above the sea floor section. Then use Taffy Cream on the remainder of the background.
  3. Use a dry brush method to blend the two layers together. Simply dip your brush in paint then run the bristles across a rag or paper towel to remove the excess. You want to get a lot of the paint off so that when you touch the canvas with the brush you have to really apply pressure for paint to show up.
  4. Use pencil to draw on the seaweed and painted them with Green Mist. Mix a little Green Mist with black and with white for a little shading and highlighting. Next, use a household sponge to add color to the sea floor. Dip the sponge into the paint and dabb off the excess onto a soft cloth. The first color I added was Desert Sand followed by touches of Natural Buff. For the background, I used Natural Buff over the Taffy Cream. To add more highlights, I used Light Buttermilk.
  5. Cut out the fish patterns and trace around them with a pencil, then add in the few details. You could also use transfer paper for this step.
  6. Use the Americana Writer to trace the pencil lines for the fish. This has to dry for a few hours. Once it is dry, use the sponge to add Coral Blush to the center fish and Orange Twist to the two end fish. Dab all the way around the fish and a bit inside as well. To add the highlights in the center of the fish use Light Buttermilk. Finally, use Soft Black to add the eyes and the stripe on the fish on the left. Once everything is dry give it two coats of Americana Acrylic Sealer spray in matte finish.
http://craftsbyamanda.com/2014/04/3d-tropical-fish-painting-canvas.html

Comments

  1. says

    This is beautiful! Saw it on your Facebook page and just had to come check it out! Reminds me of a similar kids craft I did with students MANY years ago. We used colored dry grits to “paint” our sand and fish. After seeing this I realize that kids could also use yarn to outline their fish too! Oh! We used paint brushes to spread our glue and then sprinkled on our grits….Loads of ideas….Would be blessed to see your version :) Thanks for the post and the memories!

  2. Elaine says

    Could I really do something like that. I am going to give it a try. I pinned it. Thanks for all the instructions. So pretty, I love it.

  3. says

    Very cute !! You could take this painting up a notch by framing it into a shadow box frame and create a 3D effect by painting some more seaweed onto a very heavy cardstock and add more stucco sand onto the base of the frame and glue down some seashells and a starfish giving your shadow box frame a aquarium window effect.

    • says

      Hi there :) Thanks for your suggestions. This is a painting and it’s too big to really do a shadowbox. If it were 8×10 or even 11×14 a shadowbox might work. But this is a large painting on canvas. :) A shadowbox isn’t really something I wanted, I was inspired by a piece of wall art and that’s what I was striving for.

  4. Jodi says

    Hey GF!!! Ok this made me cry!!!!! I miss you!!!! I soooo enjoyed our time and glad that you took a piece of my home, home to yours!!!!! Yay!!!!

    Yours is so much better than the original. Very well done!!! Come back soon, and se the orange ceiling I added since you and family were with us!

    Xoxoxoxoox

    Jodi

    • says

      I miss you too! I wish I could just fly out there every weekend so we could hang out. We will get together again, and I can’t wait to see the orange ceiling! :)

  5. Joy says

    I love to use texture when I paint and this is awesome. I, like another commenter, will add sea shells to the sand. I also love the idea of using White American Writer for outlining! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

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