Artist's description:

Bream fish are a very common freshwater fish locally, and the first fish I ever caught! I have been on a boat fishing since before I could walk, so that was a very long time ago. :) Since we bought a beach cottage, though, we mostly fish for saltwater fish. So when I had a friend offer these guys to me to paint I was happy to take them. They are perfect fish for fish rubbings because their scales transfer so nicely! These made lots of lovely detail on the beautiful pale blue Mulberry paper.

The paper I used for this painting is a Japanese Ethereal paper. This tissue-like paper is made from a combination of Kozo and Manila Hemp fibers and is deceptively strong. This beautiful, translucent paper is used in a variety of applications including Gyotaku, Block printing, Sumi, Scrapbooking, and Origami.

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.

Materials used:

Real Bream fish, acrylic paints, Japanese Ethereal paper dyed pale blue

School of Bream Fish Gyotaku (Fish Rubbing) (2014)


  • Acrylic painting, Paper
  • One of a kind artwork
  • Size: 18 × 11 × 0.05 in (unframed) / 18 × 11 in (actual image size)
  • This artwork is sold unframed
  • Signed on the front
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