Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fish cards

I finally found a rainbow trout today after much searching. I was getting ready to go ice fishing myself to get one! I played around with some prints, trying to get a clear image which was being tricky. I'd get the body and the head would be blurred or it would be wet on the gills.

The gyotaku technique really is fish rubbing and I felt like I was giving the trout a massage in the end, but it seems to be the best way to get the imprint of the fish onto the paper.

I tried partial prints onto some card stock to see if they'd translate into greeting cards and it worked fairly well. I then enhanced the original prints with watercolour and a touch of ink. I'll put a couple of these in my Etsy shop. The design wraps around the outside of the card and the inside is blank.


Billie Crain said...

i'm really enjoying your results with this method of printing. i gotta ask...does the original print smell fishy? i'd worry about that.

btw, are you liking the acrylics inks? i'm assuming that's what you used here.

Jeanette said...

Its great fun doing them Billie. And no, the prints don't smell fishy. Initially, there may be a slight odour, but it dissipates very quickly.

I'm not using acrylic inks for this, I'm using watercolour block printing inks. I'm sure I could use the acrylic inks though or any acrylic paint.

Rose Welty said...

This is very clever...and very artistically done Jeanette. Hmm...I assume this could spread to other things besides fish...leaves, petals, etc?

Jeanette said...

Yes, you could use pretty much anything to take a print from Rose. I've seen it done with leaves and that's quite interesting.

Anita said...

I don't understand - you do a print of the fish using the fish? Can you explain in simple terms for a simple person please.
However you did it - its gorgeous!

Terry Banderas said...

Nice technique. Artwork looks very good. I see you like to play and experiment a lot. I need to do more of that.

Jeanette said...

Yes Anita, that's it.

1, You take a real fish (not living :).
2. Dry it well, brush on a layer of printing ink. I'm sure you could use acrylic inks or paints too.
3. Lay paper over the top and gently rub it over the fish sort of molding it to the body.
4. Lift it off and cross your fingers that you've got a print of the fish's body.
5. Add colour or details in any medium you like.
6. Keep telling the cat to get lost.

If you google gyotaku, you'll find articles with more detailed processes.

Terry, thanks. Its quite fun to do. Join in, find a fish. We'll have a virual fishing derby. :)

Jennifer Rose said...

"6. Keep telling the cat to get lost."

I'm actually really shocked at how much detail from the face has been transfered onto the paper. I wouldn't have thought it would show up so well

Robyn said...

Tripod has probably worked out that he is at the end of the fish printing chain. Yum.

These prints are so refreshingly beautiful, Jeanette. You have taken the process to another level with the addition of watercolour. I love the almost iridescent colour highlights. I'm really bowled over. Wonderful!

Marsha Robinett said...

All I can say is wow! You have taken this process to a new level. It's stunning. Would never had thought of using a 'fish'. I've used flat objects like leaves but this is just lovely. The addition watercolor has added just the right touch. Thanks for sharing your process.

Carol's Original Prints said...

Hi Jeanette
I have my own blog and I've been following your blog for a while now. I can't remember how I came across your blog but I was attracted by or searching for information on what a gyotaku print is as I had never heard the term. I may have come upon it via Amie Romain because I remember seeing a fish image and marvelling at the detail in the print.

Anyway the point is I'm doing a blog of the month feature on my blog of other printmakers whose work and working methods I find interesting. Would you have any objections if I took a screen shot of your Feb 28 2009 posting on gyotaku printing and posted it on my website (with full acknowledgement given of the source)?

Thanks Carol

Melody Knight Leary said...

I did Gyotaku prints with my high school students a few years ago as an end of the year printmaking project. They positively LOVED it and ended they year with an unforgettable experience & some great prints.