This is the Gyotaku I made during the making of my “How to Create a Gyotaku” video series. If you would like to watch the series, all 5 videos are available on my YouTube channel. Here is the link to the first video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCL5E9VSLgA
Here is another fish that has many names. Locally, we call them Warmouth Bass or just plain Warmouth. They do have a larger mouth than similarly sized freshwater fish, and are quite pretty. Here’s a little bit about them:
The warmouth, warmouth sunfish, or warmouth bass, Lepomis gulosus, is a large sunfish found throughout the eastern United States. Other local names include molly, redeye, goggle-eye, red-eyed bream, stump knocker, and strawberry perch. Warmouths inhabit swamps, marshes, shallow lakes, slow-moving streams and canals with soft, muddy bottoms. They stay around aquatic vegetation, stumps and snags and under the banks of streams and ponds. They have more tolerance for muddy water than most species.
This is a traditional style Gyotaku, in that I used only black paint. Originally, Gyotaku artists used Sumi Inks.
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 or cardboard boxes.
A real Warmouth Bass fish, speckled mulberry paper, acrylic paint
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