This is a small fish commonly used for bait locally, but I have found that they are wonderful Gyotaku subjects, and readily available. Because I can get them easily, I experiment with them by using different types of paints and papers. This piece is on real papyrus! Since I have a fascination with paper, and a bit of a paper addiction, papyrus is especially interesting to me. The history of paper making dates back thousands of years with papyrus being one of the best known.
This piece comes matted. It is the best way to preserve the papyrus paper. Mat opening: 6 1/2”x4 1/2” with outside dimensions of 8”x10”. See actual papyrus paper dimensions below.
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. AP stands for artist print and the number after is the number of this painting/the total number created. 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.
handmade papyrus, a real fish, acrylic paint