When I was in elementary and high school, I was always the go-to guy for group home work or projects that involved anything art–from play backgrounds to visual aid for reports, posters, illustrations, editorial cartoons and everything in between. Now that I’m already employed, virtually nothing has changed. My younger cousins and nephews still go to me when they need somebody to do the dirty work for them. Teachers don’t really care who does these projects; they just want something to grade and display in their classrooms.
I spent the entire day yesterday doing one such school project for my nephew and I thought it would be a real shame not to show the fruits of my labor here on the blog. This one’s an aquarium made out of cut pieces of illustration board. The idea was to hang a string of several kinds of fish from the top of the aquarium to make it look like the fish is swimming in the water.
I was going to use pastels but I decided to go for colored pencils instead, so I could define more of the detail in the background. I looked at several photo references of actual aquariums to get an idea on how best to compose the elements in the background. In many ways, the process was similar to arranging a real aquarium as you have to think about where to put the shells, stones, and all the other stuff without making it look cluttered.
Drawing, coloring and building the entire thing took so much work that by the time I started making the fish, I was running on sheer will alone to finish the project because my nephew was supposed to submit it today. After sharpening my colored pencils for the nth time and cursing the hot, melted glue for trying to burn my skin, I finally finished the aquarium and added–hopefully–another imaginary A+ to my report card.
Check out more shots of the aquarium below! 🙂