| I'm one of the winners of a competition to design the decoration of 16 giant fibre-glass sunfish that will be installed around Plymouth as a tourist trail. |
I've called my design, pictured, "Smitten" as a pun on the Smeaton tower on The Hoe, the red and white section of a past Eddystone Lighthouse that has become a symbol of Plymouth.
The design is in a similar style to the paintings of Beryl Cook, who lived in Plymouth.
Plymouth City Council sponsored my design and the finished sunfish will be sited outside the Civic Centre, a very prominent position at the southerly end of Armada Way.
The whole project is called "Making Waves". Here's a link to the website:
|I'm painting my fish in the Manuplas factory in Estover. This is me just before I got started. |
|First day - degreased the fish and painted it white all over using a small sponge roller. The paint is very thin - goes a long way and drips very easily! |
| ||Day 2. It took me 3 hours to draw the design on the fish and another 3 hours to paint the red stripes on one side. I had hoped to finish the stripes today but there's a lot of work in it. Will try and catch up tomorrow. |
|Day 3. Back on schedule. Red stripes, pink stuff and hair painted on both sides. I'm debating re-doing the arm coming out to the hand, to make it fatter so that it's a nearer match with the other arms. |
|Day 4. Painted the eyes and the background of the base after getting it put on a trestle. Did some general tidying up - the "panel cleaner" I used to degrease the fish before painting is handy for erasing pencil marks. |
|Day 4. Eyes and mouth completed. I didn't have to think about the mouth when I submitted the 2D design. I decided a human one would be in keeping with the overall theme.|
|Day 5. Completed!|
This photo doesn't do justice to the shadows (I hope) and the green isn't that livid in real life.
Painting the shadows was stressful - I painted black lines and then spread them out by dabbing with a sponge. It felt as though I was spreading dirt over work I'd strived to keep clean and sharp.
|Day 5. The other side. In the cool light of day I think the top fellow's hairline is a bit wonky. I had problems getting the eyes in the right place and now I can see why. Too late to change it and I don't think it matters too much. |
|Day 5. Front view, now with my "signature". |
|I didn't like the way I made the shadows - dabbing with a sponge just made it look dirty - so I went back and repainted the individual stripes to make the shadows less smudgy. Took 11 hours with hardly any breaks! |
|I painted a couple of small-scale replicas - one for the sponsor (Plymouth City Council) and one for me - in ClayArt, a paint-a-pot studio in Plymouth. |
| ||Now top coated|| |
| ||Now on display, along with 14 other sunfish, outside the Civic Centre. |
|On the launch day, in the rain |