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fantasy fish window
by Deborah Bremer, OSCI

Fantasy Fish Window
By Deborah Bremer, O.S.C.I.
Surface Used:
Old Window
FolkArt Artists’ Pigment:
#626 Pure Orange
#458 Sap Green
FolkArt Acrylic Color:
#432 Sunflower
#736 School Bus Yellow
#643 Azure Blue
#901 Wicker White
434 Berry Wine
#938 Licorice
FolkArt Mediums
#868 Floating Medium
#487 Pearlizing Medium
Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray Sealer # 1301
FolkArt 897 Outdoor Satin Sealer
FolkArt OneStroke Brushes:
1176 ¾” Flat
1177 # 8 Flat
1272 #2 Script Liner
Medium Grit Sanding Brick
Household Sponge
Lint Free Cloths or Good Quality Paper Towels (Bounty was used for the project)
White or Blue Chaco Paper (For Transferring Pattern onto Prepared Window If desired)
½” Masking Tape
Preparing the Widow for Painting:
With Sanding Brick go over the wooden window frame smoothing out any badly peeling or extremely rough surfaces. I never take the wood down till its totaly smooth. I like to leave some roughness on it to keep the aged and weathered look.
Wipe down with dampened paper towel or cloth to remove any dust. Then wipe down the widow with Window cleaner, let dry and then wipe glass down with alcohol and let dry. Mask off glass area of window with ½” masking tape. Try to handle the glass are as little as possible once you have cleaned it so you avoid transferring any oils that may be on your hands to the glass. You can also wear rubber gloves when handling the window to prevent this.
Painting Window Frame and preparing glass for painting:
Dampen household sponge and blot out excess water with paper towel. Squeeze out half dollar size puddle of FA Azure Blue paint, dip end of sponge into it and apply one good coat of Azure blue along wooden areas of window.
Squeeze out quarter size puddle of Wicker white on plastic plate and pick up a slight amount on same side of sponge and lightly stroke it back and forth along the wooden areas here and there in a sweeping motion being careful not to apply too much white.
You just want touches of it here and there along the window. See Picture for a guideline.
When it has dried completely spray entire window on one side with 2 coats of Krylon Clear. Take care when spraying the glass panes to not over spray or spray to close and cause the spray to either fog up on the glass or run. This gives the window a slightly frosted look and the glass “tooth” so your paint will adhere to the glass better.
Let dry thoroughly and then transfer patterns.
Transferring Pattern:
There are two methods of using the patterns if you do not wish to freehand the fish.
First Method is to place the rough side of Chaco Paper on the spayed side of the window and then place your pattern over it and using a pencil with gently pressure trace the pattern.
The second method is to cut the pattern to size and tape it to the back of the window (the side with no spray on it) this lets you see the pattern though the glass.
If you are comfortable free handing a design an just want a slight guide you can take a piece of chalk and draw your own fish in on top of the sprayed side of the glass, using the patterns as a guide.
Painting the Design
Instructions below are for Fish 1 thru 3, fish 4-6 are done in the same manner please use the full color picture of the entire window as a guide for color and stroke placement for them.
Fish #1
Using the color worksheet as your guide for strokes work. Stoke in the fish in the following order and colors and brushes.
Body: Double Load 3/4” Flat with Berry Wine and School Bus Yellow. Keep School Bus Yellow on the outer edge. Start on chisel edge and press down maintaining even pressure as you make entire body of the fish. End on the chisel edge once again and lifting straight up to end the stroke and complete the body. It is similar to a large teardrop stroke.
Gill Area: Using same brush with Berry Wine on outer edge stroke in the curve to represent the gill area on the fish.
Still using same brush, shade fish using picture as a guide or as desired.
Using same brush load a generous amount of Floating Medium into brush and stroke along top of fish leading with Berry Wine.
Tail Fins 1,2, & 3:
Double Load the ¾” with Berry wine and School Bus Yellow. Starting with tail fin #1 Start at the bottom of the fin, place brush on chisel edge with the Berry Wine on the outer edge and press down gently, stroking down along the shape of the fin and ending on the chisel edge when you reach the point where the fins meet. Do the same stroke for Fins#2 and #3.
With Berry wine on the outer edge starting out on the chisel edge once again where the points meet press down and wiggle bring brush to chisel edge at point where fin meets. This stroke is very similar to the stroke used to make an iris or tulip just an elongated version of it and you only make it on one side of the fin. Please refer to the guide for examples of the strokes used.
Top Fin #4:
Double load ¾” with Berry Wine and School Bus Yellow and paint the top fin as per the example on the guide.
Fins #5, #6, and #7:
Double load ¾” with Berry Wine and School Bus Yellow and paint the fins fin as per the example on the guide. These fins are basic One- Stroke leaf strokes with a wiggle.
Using the color worksheet as your guide for strokes work. Stoke in the fish in the following order and colors and brushes.
Body: Base coat with a 3/4” Flat double loaded with Wicker White and Berry Wine. Keep Wicker White on the outer edge.
Large Tail Fins: Base coat with a 3/4” Flat double loaded with Wicker White and School Bus Yellow. Keep Wicker White on the outer edge.
Tail Fin Details:
Middle Tail Fin: Double Load ¾” flat with Berry Wine and Wicker White, picking up some School Bus yellow on the Wicker White side until you have the shade desired. See worksheet for guide. Paint the Middle Fin First. Start on chisel edge and wiggling motion pressing down on the brush and back up to a point but not lifting the brush completely off the surface.bring the brush back down using the same motion until you have reached the point even with the beginning of the stroke. Again this stroke is similar to the one used when making the center petal of an Iris or a Tulip just elongated.
Side Tail Fins: Use same colors and strokes as Middle Tail Fin just overlapping your strokes onto each fin giving it depth.
4 Side Fins: 2 on each side of fish.
Double load Berry Wine and School Bus Yellow on ¾” Flat. Leading with Berry Wine stoke in fins as per worksheet.
Top Fin:
With same brush and colors pick up a small amount of Wicker White on the School Bus Yellow side and work into brush. Stroke in Fin details using floating medium as needed as per guide.
Gill Area on body: double load a #8 Flat with Berry Wine and Wicker White leading with Wicker White make one comma stroke on each side of the body as per worksheet.
Eyelids: Using same brush and load with Berry Wine and School Bus Yellow, once again make the same stroke right above eyes. Using worksheet as a guide.
Eyes: Using wooden end of ¾” brush and dip into Licorice. And dot onto eye area, then once Eyes have dried, using #2 Script Liner and inky concistancy Wicker White make small comma stroke in eye to simulate highlight. See worksheet for example.
Fish#3 Back View Fish
Double Load your ¾” flat with Pure Orange and School Bus Yellow. With Orange on the outer edge of the body stroke as per the worksheet example, stroke used on fish #1 and #2 body again picking up Floating Medium as needed.
Back Fins:
Using same brush as you used on the body loaded the same way as well as add some Berry Wine on the School Bus Yellow side and work into brush. If needed pick up some floating medium as well. Then base coat the each of the back fins as per the worksheet.
Topcoat strokes: Wipe brush on a paper towel to remove most of the paint then reload with Wicker White and school Bus Yellow on the orange side of the brush, and add more Berry Wine on the other side. Use the following stroke to put in your body fin.
Place brush on chisel edge at point where fins meet body. Press down and make ripple strokes in fins, bringing stroke to opposite side of fin. See worksheet for guidelines.
Top Fin: Using same brush again and picking up more wicker white on the School Bus Yellow/Wicker White side. Stroke in top fin keeping the Wicker White on the outer edge of the fine as per worksheet.
Side Fins: Load more Berry Wine and pick up School Bus Yellow on the Wicker White side and stroke in side fins as per worksheet. Keeping School Bus yellow on the outer edge of one fin and reverse the color order for the other fin. See worksheet for example.
Eyes: Using same stroke and colors that were used on Fish#1 stroke in eyes and highlight them as per worksheet.
Seaweed: Double load3/4” flat with Sap Green and Sunflower and stoke in Seaweed as per worksheet.
Bubbles: Double load #10 flat with Wicker White Floating Medium stroke in bubbles as per work sheet. Highlight with #10 flat loaded with a touch of Azure Blue on the Wicker white side.
Wipe brush on paper towel removing most of the paint then pick up some Floating Medium and side load with Pearlizing Medium. Stroke around entire surface of bubble.
Water: Double Load #/4” with Azure Blue and Wicker White and stroke in water randomly along window as per worksheet.
Last Step:
Let widow dry over night then spray side where you have painted the design including the wooden window frame on that side with 2 light coats of Kyrlon Clear Acrylic Spray Sealer. Seal the other side with Plaids Brush On Outdoor Sealer in your choice of finish. I use Satin on my windows.
If you have any questions about the article please feel free to contact me.
Deborah M Bremer O.S.C.I.
Summerville, South Carolina