29 Jan

I woke up this morning looking forward to cleaning in the garage. I think it’s because I can see an immediate result. I like the idea of starting on the edge of the mess and working across (mostly so I’m not totally surrounded by spiders). This is where I’m starting:


Unfortunately, the first items to deal with are big foam insulation boards. My partner bought them to make wargaming terrain, but abandoned that project months ago. A few weeks ago, I got really inspired late one night to turn them into wall art. I sketched a fish onto one of them, but had work early in the morning and couldn’t continue. The fish board sat in the entry room for a few weeks until I finally conceded defeat and moved it back to the garage.

I considered moving them to another spot in the garage, but that would be pointless. I’d have to do something with them eventually. I also considered cutting them up and tossing them out, but my partner undoubtedly wouldn’t like that. So, I decided to use them.

I cut out the fish with a jigsaw and sanded the edges.



More sawdust and offcuts for the floor!

I used a hobby knife to outline details and sanded some more.


Painted it white, set it in the sun to dry, sanded, repeat.



Now for the hard part: deciding how to paint it. After some googling, I found a few grouper reference pictures, gathered my paints from various spots around the house, and started laying down the base coats.


Back in the sun to dry.


Next a good wash of greenish-greyish-blue to tone down the stripes and give the whole fish a base color.


The green didn’t dry how I expected, but that’s just a “happy accident” as Bob Ross would say. I had quite a few “happy accidents.”



I kept adding washes, drybrushing, and carefully detailing until it felt right. I wanted to add a bit of bright color, so I got creative with the spots. I had to play around with the mouth for a while until I was finally happy with it. At this stage, I felt it was done. Then I noticed the fins seemed really dull, so I gave them some bright edging.


I’ll wait for it to really dry, then give it a spray of clear acrylic. I’ll attach some hanging hardware and find a place for it. Probably the hallway. I’m really quite pleased.

Well, that’s one sheet of foam gone from the garage. Progress!



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