This small octopus is in a swimming position on Mango paper dyed olive green. He is an original Gyotaku (fish rubbing) number 4 of a series of 13 paintings I did from one octopus. He is done in the traditional style of Gyotaku, meaning I used only black. Traditionally, black Sumi ink was used by fishermen to record their catch.
This Mango Leaf paper from Thailand is made with Kozo fibers and leaves from the Mango plant embedded into it. This beautiful paper has a variety of uses besides Gyotaku including wedding invitations, scrapbooking, collage and gift-wraping.
What In the World is Gyotaku? Gyotkau (pronounced GEE-OH-TAH_KOO) literally translated means Fish Rubbing. Here is a basic description of how I do it. I paint directly on the fish (or other sea creature), and then carefully place the paper over him, gently rubbing the length of the fish. When the paper is lifted there is a mirror image of the fish imprinted onto the paper. After the rubbings dry I add the eyes, backgrounds, sign them using my "chop" (mine is my name in Japanese) and add my signature. I can usually get 4 to 16 rubbings from each fish (depending on the type of fish) and they truly are very different with each rubbing. Once dry, they are mounted on acid free backing OR rolled and kept in a tube. I use handmade papers, usually mulberry or rice paper, but I do like to experiment with other types. Each painting has the type of paper used in the description. I also try to keep my sizes standard to fit most frames, but the size of the fish can determine the size of the paper. Since the papers are shipped to me rolled in a tube or box, shipping a finished Gyotaku this way is perfectly safe. Your Gyotaku can be stored this way until you are ready to have it framed. I ship all of my Gyotaku rolled in shipping tubes.
A real octopus, handmade Mango leaf paper dyed olive green, acrylic paints
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