The under-water world has always fascinated me. The beauty, the colours, the motion, the camouflage, the fight for survival – it’s all so intriguing, that I think it can make the already fertile imagination of a kid, work at ten times the speed!
Exploring the ocean world
Pari and I often explore the ocean theme through colours and various other means – photos, videos, collectibles (shells, stones).
Recently, I worked with her for the most colourful, 100% handmade project on this theme! We started off exploring the different exotic creatures of the sea world from the Times Life Encyclopedia on Sea Life. The illustrations and photos in this thick, hard bound book are so beautiful that one will be really inspired to draw and paint. We did the same.
Creating the sea creatures
Pari traced some creatures (crab, sea anemone) using her Play Dough moulds. While, I sketched an Octopus, Angel Fish, Flounder Fish, Jelly Fish and helped her cut them. She then filled them up with poster colours. She chose some really gorgeous fluorescent colours and I think did a really neat job at coloring along with all the details – fins, eyes, scales…
Gathering the under world knick knacks
We also went around the house, gathering all that we would need to make the sea bed. Shells (we had collected from a recent beach vacation), corals (Pari’s colourful hair bands did the job), sea weed for the Octopus to latch on to (a foam from an AC packaging came handy). A cardboard box – somewhat bigger than a shoebox for our 3D sea world. And a thick transparent sheet to give the sea world box a transparent ceiling (we thought we should be able to see from top as well. Besides, it’s good to keep the top transparent so that light can pass and illuminate the sea bed!).
The look and feel
One important aspect was the backdrop of the box and the look of the sea bed itself. Pari reminded me of the sea world paintings that she had made recently. We decided to use those paintings to create the backdrop.
One more under-water painting that she had done a few days back. We were so glad that we were able to combine three art projects into one!
Now, it was time to put everything in place.
As you can see from the picture, I cut the box in a way that when you position it in standing mode, the front would be the empty side with the sea world in it. I slashed the top so we can cover it with a transparent sheet once the sea world is done. I did not cut the walls upto the edges. Kept a one inch frame all around for a sturdy framing.
Pari painted the side walls and the frame in blue tempera paint. She then pasted her ocean paintings on the inside wall and the floor.
The first creature to find a place in the sea world was the Octopus. To make it sit firmly in place, Pari first attached the sea weed made out of green packaging foam. We folded and pasted a card – half on the weed and the other half on the ocean floor. Once the weed was in place, Pari pasted the Octopus on to it.
Time for the fishes to adorn the sea world
The fishes needed to be hung from the top. So, it was time now to seal the top of the ocean world with the transparent sheet.
I made holes in the paper fishes and crabs and others that Pari had created. Strung thread through them and got Pari to tape them to the ocean ceiling.
And Voila! Pari’s ocean world was ready – resplendent in all the fluorescent colours. And, it didn’t look far away from any real ocean world.
It was on one of the most satisfying projects we did in recent times. We both learnt some really amazing facts about the ocean world while exploring the encyclopedia. That, the Angel fish is striped, that flounder fish lies flat on the ocean bed to merge with the sea bed and hide from predators, that some fishes glow in the water because luminous bacteria live in their photophores, that squids squirt ink…and many more amazing facts!
We loved this project and we both decided that we need to many more ocean-based art and craft.
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