top of page
  • Writer's pictureEli Allison

A Year of Art, Week 4

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

So what's with 365 Days of art?

It's all about inspiration and a love of creating. I create five pieces of art a week, filling my sketchbook to the brim with illustrations, one of which I show you how to create for yourself. This week's How-To is a school of watercolour fish, (Day 18). Challenged yourself with me, or just get some great art ideas for a one-off project.

Here's last week's in case you missed it. I'm taking my tasks from the fabulous artist and art author Lorna Scobie

Day 16

Task; Begin by learning how to create calligraphy.

I've been on a calligraphy taster and believe me, just because you know how to write doesn't mean you have fancy writing nailed down, you don't. So unless you like wrestling with the tricky quills that are built to test your mental and physical resolve, let's go down the watercolour and paintbrush route. Lorna's suggested method with a paintbrush is so forgiving you can add curls, swirls and lovely thick lines to all the down swipes, pretending you're a pro. Of course, after a lengthy letter practice, we had to write a word, and there was only one option in this house.

The word Unicorn written in watercolour calligraphy.

Day 17

Task; Fill a page with loops.

I went classic Crayola on this bad boy task. It was nice to loop, although I found myself getting tense that my loops weren't as pretty as Lorna's. So apparently that's a personality trait I have to worry about now, Loop Envy. Great.

Day 18

Task; Get Fishy

Pencil Case Supplies

A4 watercolour paper (350gsm works well.)

Paintbrushes. Thin-tipped.

Green, Blue, Orange and Yellow watercolours.

Ink Uni pen. 0.1

Stage One

First things first take your a4 and stretch it out. Here's a great video to showing you how. This is an important step, as otherwise, you'll end up with a crazy warped painting that's impossible to frame. Don't worry, it's an easy step.

Once you've done that take a very pale bluey-green paint and cover the whole page. Make sure it's light because we're going to be painting fishes on top. While the paint is still damp, take a slightly darker blue and paint the bubbles on top. I like the way the colours blend, but if you want a sharper look, let the page dry before you paint the dots.

Stage Two

Draw the fish. So I've created these in ink all the better to see them with, but if you're not as confident work in pencil and then go over in ink. Be gentle; you don't want to rip your paper half to bits, having to rub off heavy pencil lines.

When creating your fish break them down into its basic shapes. Take the bottom left fish on the 1st image, it's a flower petal for the body, with two triangles as the fins and warped rectangles for the swimmy bits? (If that's not what they're called, I'm too old to learn now.) Draw the fish into two roundish camps, building up the school until you have two large circles, with a gap in the middle, that's where the rebel comes in.

Stage Three

In the empty space in the middle of the page draw 'Janet' she swimming the opposite way. Because she's an f'ing rebel.

Stage Four Lets get to painting. The easiest way is to start with one colour and paint the fishes randomly, working your way down the page. I made a large amount of blue paint on my trusty old plastic plate, painted some of the the fish, let them dry and then made that blue paint a little greener, and started the process again. This is how you create a nice tonal look, because you're always using the same two or three paints to create new colours. Keep painting all the fish, except Janet.

Stage Five

To really hammer home the point, I've painted Janet bright orange, so she stands out even more. Because f*ck subtlety right? Some of the finer details on the fish were also created with some colouring pencils, because it's easier and I like the look. Things like the strips, freckles, and checkerboards were created this way.

Day 19

Task; Design a wallpaper for behind the chair

This is my favourite piece of the week by far. I was working on another artwork for a fellow author this week and some of the techniques I used there I wanted to replicate in the 365 Days of Art. I tried to create the illusion of waves with collage, but I also wanted a slightly surreal element. So using images of clouds, tiled floor and glittery dresses adds a fun and oddness to the picture. I'm very excited by the idea of exploring this style of artwork in future on a much larger scale.

Day 20

Task: Design your own Fairy Lights

A simple but lovely doodling task that made me think about all the types of light bulbs out there and how you can create interest by zooming in close to a subject. Soft spot for the energy saving bulbs.

That's it folks

... Join me next week when I dive deep into cheese, mess around with Lego, and go Pom-pom fantastic.

But if you can't wait, here is where it all began with Week 1.

216 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page