Sunday, 1 March 2009

Tickling trout

I finally tracked down a rainbow trout to practice some more gyotaku with. It was like hitting paydirt. You'd never think a fish would be so difficult to find in this city! At least one that you didn't need a second mortgage to afford.

It took me awhile to get the hang of it and I used a lot of newsprint initially as I didn't want to waste good printing paper til I was happy with my ability to lift a half decent print from the fish.

Because its a three dimensional object that you're working with, its very easy to blur the lines and lose definition of the scales or fins.

I tried a couple of prints on cardstock to use as greeting cards then enhanced them with watercolour. I like the results as the fish wrap around the card making unique pieces.

After taking some prints and playing with colours and papers, the fishy smell was enough and I washed it off and wrapped it for the fridge to try again tomorrow. The shelf life of a fish isn't long, so can either use it for a few days or freeze and refreeze to prolong my ability to use this model. I think it will be the former as I imagine the solidity and skin texture of the fish would deteriorate after a few freezings and thawings.

Edited: I've enhanced a couple more of the prints, or half prints to give an idea at high resolution what they look like.


Katherine Tyrrell said...

These are really lovely. I think you're definitely getting the hang of this.

I wonder if a lightly frozen fish (ie not stiff as a board but not as pliable as usual) would enhance the ability to take prints - or not?

muddy red shoes said...

Beautiful with the watercolour

vivien said...

I like the addition of watercolour - I hope they don't develop a strong smell with time!!!!

Jeanette said...

They're quite interesting to do but time consuming and yes a bit smelly.

I don't know if a stiffer fish would make a difference Katherine. It seems more about being able to wrap the paper around the object without blurring it too much as opposed to the softness of the fish.

That's the part I like most Sarah. The plain prints are really more like anatomy lessons, but do have their appeal. I like being able to add different media to the originals and see what happens with them.

There is a faint tang to the prints themselves, but that dissipates pretty quickly - or adds to the authenticity!

Gesa said...

These are VERY nice! I agree with all before: the watercolours lift these off beautifully and it's great to see how the print medium gets expanded upon this way.

Amie Roman said...

If you can find any kind of rockfish or fish that has very definitive scales & fins, you will really enjoy the results. Crab/shrimp also make great prints, because they've got such interesting shapes & textures.

Very fine paper made from gampi fibre might be your best bet for gently capturing all of the fish at once. Good luck with the experiments! You look like you're on a roll - love the addition of the watercolours!

Laureline said...

I am so enjoying all the experimentation you all are doing. I, who railed against cliche, seem to be the least experimental of us all at the moment! Ah well, I'm doing my own thing. That's what counts, I guess!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Great experimenting ... lovely colour addition. You've really stuck to it with this experiment(smells and all) and it was worth it. Exciting work Jeanette!