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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

Happy Fisherman

by Marie-Lou Denis


A small 6” x 8” white canvas.


DecoArt® Americana acrylic paint:

  • DA01 Snow (Titanium) White

  • DA067 Lamp (Ebony) Black

  • DA031 Baby Pink

  • DA274 Carousel Pink

  • DA42 Baby Blue

  • DA305 Whispering Turquoise

  • DA157 Black Green

  • DA011 Lemon Yellow

  • DA010 Cadmium Yellow

  • DA012 Tangerine

  • DA271 Espresso

  • DA085 Midnight Blue

  • DA068 Slate Gray


Loew Cornell® brushes

  • 1/2 Flat

  • 1/4 Deerfoot

  • 1/2 Angular

  • Round #2

  • Liner #10/0

Other materials

  • Paper palette

  • Dotting tool



Begin by lightening Lemon Yellow, Baby Pink, and Whispering Turquoise with some white to create pastel colors (1:1). Using a 1/2 flat and a swiping motion, apply all the colors. First, paint the pastel yellow mix in the middle. To create a gradient effect, double load your brush with the pastel yellow and the pastel pink using the same swiping motion. Paint the pastel pink mix on the top and bottom of the yellow band. Repeat the same steps with the pastel blue mix. Remember throughout all this project, we will have to recreate the steps twice for the mirror effect in the lake.


Using a 1/4" deer foot, paint the clouds in a stippling motion. First, paint the base of the clouds and then add more to create sort of an “m” shape. Also, add some tiny clouds along with the bigger ones.


Paint the base of the mountains using Purple Cow and a round #2. Then, shade the mountains in the middle to give it a 3D effect. Make an irregular zigzag shape. You may look at a picture reference if it helps. Using a 1/2 angular brush and the edge, paint diagonal lines on either side of the mountains with Baby Blue. On the right side of each mountain, add some diluted Carousel Pink using a round #2. Dab away any excess water that is left on the canvas.

For the mountains in the reflection, roughly paint some triangles with Purple Cow. Make sure the edges aren’t too harsh as the reflection isn’t perfectly clear. Then add horizontal lines across the whole canvas using a liner 10/0 or the edge of a 1/2 angular brush. Alternate between the following colors: your pastel mixes (blue, yellow, and pink), Purple Cow, diluted Snow (Titanium) White.


On the left side of the canvas, first, paint a circle using Snow (Titanium) White and your round #2. This is to ensure we completely hide the sky underneath the sun. Then, fill in the circle with Cadmium Yellow and the round #2. Shade it with Tangerine and the 1/2 angular brush on the lower right side.

Repeat these same steps on the reflection part of the canvas while keeping the edges fuzzy. Repeat the same method as the mountains to create the illusion of moving water by painting horizontal lines across the whole canvas using a liner 10/0 or the edge of a 1/2 angular brush. This time, alternate between Cadmium Yellow, and diluted Snow (Titanium) White


First, paint a horizontal line in the middle of the canvas using Black Green and a Liner 10/0. Then, paint some vertical lines following the horizon line. Make them all different sizes for a more natural effect. Repeat the same step on the reflection.

Then, still using the liner 10/0 and Black Green, paint some horizontal lines on each fir. Go from smallest at the top to biggest at the bottom. For the branches in the reflection, dilute your Black Green and make fuzzier lines. Remember, lines in the water shouldn’t be as crisp as the ones on top.


Paint a wavy line using Black Green and the ½ flat.

Add some grass using Dark Green and a liner 10/0 by painting tiny lines that go in all different directions. Also, paint some longer stems for the cattails. Concentrate then in different spots along the grass. Paint some rounded rectangles in Espresso with the Liner 10/0 for the cattail’s flower. To finish them off, add a tiny line on top using Dark Green and the liner 10/0.


First, paint his bark using Lamp (Ebony) Black and the round #2. Go for a rectangle shape that is rounded on the top and bottom. For all the other details, use a liner10/0 and Lamp (Ebony) Black. Paint the motor by doing a small square that is attached to the bark. Add a vertical rectangle attached to the square that goes down to the bottom of the bark.

For the fisherman, paint his abdomen first in a rounded rectangle shape. Add an oval for the face and a nose and lips. Paint a diagonal line on top of his head for the rim of his hat and then add a semi-circle. Paint two bent arms with a circle with fingers for the hands. Paint a rounded lien for his fishing rod. Add some detailing to the top of the fishing rod. Paint a fish at the end of the fishing line by painting a droplet shape with a triangle on the end.

Add some details to his bark in Slate Gray using the liner 10/0 and following the reference picture to make a seat and wood texture.

Dilute some lamp (Ebony) Black and using the liner 10/0, paint the reflection of the bark, the fish, and the motor.


You may apply your favorite varnish but it isn’t absolutely necessary.


I hope you enjoyed painting this happy fisherman! You can share it with me on my Instagram : , Facebook: or Twitter:

©2021 Nailing Painting

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