Easy colorful tropical fish

Watercolor Resist Tropical Fish

Fish are easy to draw and the color opportunity is fantastic. My fifth grade students always do a few watercolor lessons and this year I wanted to use good old fashioned crayons as my resist tool. I have a variety of crayons: construction paper, glitter crayons and plain crayons. My students loved getting all variety and it left me wondering why I don’t use crayons more often.

Drawing the fish

I used my handy-dandy Tropical Fish handout from my Watercolor Art Project eBook. The students selected their favorite fish shape and embellished with their own patterns and designs. Some students used multiple crayon colors while others selected one or two. Of course, it doesn’t matter what they choose to do.

Painting wet-on-wet

One technique that I wanted to teach was painting watercolor on a wet surface. To do this, I had the students paint their entire background with water and then apply the watercolors. We used pan watercolors, but liquid watercolors would work fine for the background. The students tilted the paper to let the watercolors drip and mingled multiple colors together. Others used short brush strokes over the wet paper just to see what happens. This really is a fun part of the lesson, so take your time here.

Painting the fish

After the background was painted, students used the pan watercolors and painted the fish designs. It’s important to teach the students to layer the paint by starting out with a light layer (more water than paint) and then building up color if desired.


A 5 gallon is

by simp1icity

Too small for most popular fish. The only fish I would recommend for a 5 are one betta or up to 3 male guppies. Both are tropical and should have a heater as well as a filter.
20 gallon long is my favorite tank size except for maybe a 29 (which happens to be the same footprint size, just taller). You'll have a lot more stocking options.
For a brand new fishkeeper, I'd recommend starting with common, easy fish. NOT goldfish, they produce a lot of poop and need a lot more tank care and more space than many people realize--common goldfish with proper care get a foot long in about a year and life expectancy is 20 years

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