Amazing Oceans – How to Make Sea Creature Art

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A Sea of Creativity

Walter Crane - Neptune's Horses, 1892
Neptune's Horses - Walter Crane

Good afternoon! How did you get on with your drawing this morning? Your sketchbooks must be filling up nicely now! 

This afternoon we are going to get really creative with an open ended project – I want you to make a sea creature(s) portrait! This can be anything you like – it could be a painting, a collage, a sculpture, a mobile, a puppet, a mixed media piece…. anything you like! 

Seahorse - by me !

As usual, I will be giving you some ideas to start you off, but this project is all about your creativity! 

Acrylic and Glitter Painting

My Jellyfish
Jellyfish - me

Your artist inspiration for this idea, is actually me! Most of my art work is done in either acrylic or oil paint, with a good smattering of glitter! I love how glitter catches the light in different ways, and this is great for sea creatures; the moving light in the water, sea creatures’ shimmering scales and iridescent tentacles and fins, are perfectly expressed using glitter, or other shiny material like foil. 

Note – you can get biodegradable and edible glitter, if you’re not keen on the regular kind… sweet/candy wrappers can work well in art projects too! 


A few weeks ago, I asked my children to make a portrait of a sea creature, using my jellyfish (above) as their inspiration.

  •  to use bold bright colours
  • to mix those colours effectively
  • to use glitter or another shiny material to add an extra dimension to the picture
  • to use paint splatters to add to the watery/bubbly effect of being underwater 
  • and to focus more on the colours and expression of the painting, rather than trying to make it super life like!
Here is how they did – I think they’re super! 


If this idea inspires you, you will need:  

  •  A large(ish) piece of good quality paper, or card, or canvas
  • Acrylic or poster paints 
  • Brushes and water 
  • Sponges can help with your background too 
  • Glitter, sequins, or foils 
  • A picture of your sea creature to work from 
Have fun, let me know you get on…. read on for more ideas… 

Beautiful 3D Jellyfish

Staying with Jellyfish, I absolute LOVE these 3D jellyfish from Art Campla – click the post for all the details… I think you could make these out of almost anything you have at home – strips of fabric, magazines, wrapping paper – get creative and see what you can do! 

Clay and Sequin Sea Creatures

These clay and sequin sea creatures from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots are simply lovely, and great for even the youngest of artists! Click the post for more details. 

Seahorse Art

This is a nice little project from The Crafty Classroom –  the post comes with a free template, so head over and take a look at how they did it! A note from me – if you don’t have tissue paper, don’t worry, you can get really similar effects from water colour, or even pastels and water… 

Hanging Mermaid Craft

These sweet hanging eggbox mermaids are lovely – the post is in German, but I think you will be able to follow along with the pictures! Could you use anything different for the hair? What about some wool? 

Tin Foil Fish

These tin foil fish are so lovely – the effect is brilliant! You can use a grater or vegetable nets to create this effect – so clever! 

Something else...

Perhaps you have another idea… what about using wax resist, sponge painting, printing with bubblewrap… you could do a really detailed drawing? Use some of the ideas we have done in previous Art Camp sessions… what about a newspaper collaged seahorse, a silhouette painting, or a Tingatinga style piece?

A Little Light Reading

First of all, I have a book recommendation for you – Seahorse, the Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth… It is a stunning book that mixes a story and information, with beautiful illustrations. You can grab a copy here (affiliate link), but here’s a video too.  

Here’s a poem for you to copy into your journal… 

Journal Prompts

Me and Jake
  • Draw rainbow fish all over you page… fish are easy to draw – make an eye shape, then add two wavy lines for the tail, and to arc shapes for fins
  • Copy the poem above and illustrate it 
  • Can you write your own poem? 
  • Write descriptively about your favourite sea creatures 
  • Make up a story about going underwater to visit your sea friends 
  •  Doodle some more sea creatures 

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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