Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Blog of Note 1

ILLUSTRATED LIFE on Gyotaku prints

I'm starting with this one as it was one of the first I came across when I first started blogging. I found a print of a fish. When I investigated further as to how the image was made I discovered a new printmaking technique I'd never heard of called 'gyotaku' which is Japanese. 

Jeanette, the author of this blog, is currently working on a new gyotaku project. the details of which you can see here. There may well be more postings on the subject elsewhere on her blog but I'll leave you to search for them if you are interested.


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.
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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. :)

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