So many goldfish! Prints with styrofoam


To create this shoal of goldfish, immersed in a blue lake, we made some prints by matrices in Styrofoam (polystyrene for foodstuffs). What better way to recycle plastic trays, used as a container for fruit and vegetables in our supermarkets! After collecting a lot of these trays, the students of the seventh grade have cut out the flat surface from the trays, in order to use it as a matrix for printing.

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With a sharp pencil we drew small fishes in different shapes, engraving the surface of polystyrene. Then we cut out the fish to get shaped matrices. The print was made by applying the acrylic paint on the matrix, with a flat brush. The fishes’ prints were made on a white drawing sheet, and then they were cut out.

For the preparation of the background we used tempera of various colors (blue, light blue, green and white) by applying them with a flat brush and mixing the colors between them, to give the effect of the water.
The prints were glued on the tempera background, and arranged like a school of fish. All fishes are horizontal and some of them are overlapped to give a sense of depth. In the lesson on “six ways to represent space” we have observed that the overlapping shapes give us the illusion of three-dimensionality. The last touch was to draw the bubbles with a liquid corrector. We need:

    • 2 sheets of drawing paper
    • Styrofoam food trays
    • sharp pencil
    • scissors or box cutter
    • tempera for the background
    • acrylic colors for printing
    • glue
    • white liquid corrector

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  1. Fantastic! Whimsical. Did you do a little reflection on Matisse’s Goldfish first? Love these!

    • Actually no, but it’s a really good idea! thanks for the suggestion Painter lady! I’ll show the Matisse’s goldfish to my students 🙂

      • This is really nice. My 12 year old six grade students have been drawing fish. What size is the paper and what type of paper. I think poster board would work.

        • Hi Merril! as you can see in the pictures the fishes are quite small. The drawing paper is 33x24cm, but is possible to think also about a big poster with all the fishes of the class. Could be a collaborative project to create a big aquarium… 🙂

  2. LOVE IT!

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