Gyotaku Fish Prints

thatguyryry

Active Member
I'm starting to think about doing some of my own prints. Can I see some of your guys' prints or get some tips and tricks?
 

VMP

Active Member
I first saw gyotaku in action at Naoki Hayashi studio in Kaneohe as he printed a nice omilu a friend of mine had caught a few hours earlier, another local friend knew Naoki so he gave us a little tour of his studio as he shared with us his philosophy of art, I never took a class from him but I was hooked!
Some humble prints below (along with my avatar!) that I made during the last four years or so. Clearly not all of them caught on flies, nor caught locally, but they all tasted great after experimenting with gyotaku. I say experimenting cause I am no professional artist (not that it is not obvious...), nevertheless it is fun and as my wife says, addictive, as she once found me on the kitchen way past midnight with a bunch of our kid's acrylics...
As for tips (there are books about this and plenty other sources, including professionals, so take this with a grain of salt...nothing like your own experience and tolerance to frustration to learn anything):
* Use acrylics or other paints/inks that are not toxic (if you plan to eat the "model" afterwards)
* If you travel, have with you a small "field kit" of basics so you can print while away
* Get rid of any slime and pat/air dry the fish so the paint/ink adheres properly
* Start with more 2D fish (flatfish are the easiest), more 3D fish (sculpins, shellfish, tunas, etc) are a bit more tricky
* Although rice paper is traditional, high-quality paper can get pretty expensive. I started with my kid's art paper, butcher paper, old cotton t-shirts, etc. Stay away from synthetic fabrics
* Paint the eyes after the print
* Have fun! If you have kids, probably they would love to help, at least mine does!
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Mark Melton

Active Member
My own are packed away right now but I do have one out that I bought in Seattle about 35 years ago. It was done by a guy out of Alaska whose name I've forgotten.

IMG_6655 (3).JPG

IMG_6659 (5).JPG
If you're in Tacoma you can hop over to Seattle and get the supplies you'll need at Uwajimayas or on line.

Here's a couple of videos that might help. The first one is short, the second one he catches the salmon, gets a print of it, and prepares it and eats it.


 

VMP

Active Member
Thanks for the reply @VMP. Have you tried using the authentic pine soot ink?
You are welcome! No, I have not tried pine soot ink in my prints, it'd be interesting to try at some point! Do share some prints as you try your hand at it, always fun to compare notes.
 

jwg

Active Member
I first saw gyotaku in action at Naoki Hayashi studio in Kaneohe as he printed a nice omilu a friend of mine had caught a few hours earlier, another local friend knew Naoki so he gave us a little tour of his studio as he shared with us his philosophy of art, I never took a class from him but I was hooked!
Some humble prints below (along with my avatar!) that I made during the last four years or so. Clearly not all of them caught on flies, nor caught locally, but they all tasted great after experimenting with gyotaku. I say experimenting cause I am no professional artist (not that it is not obvious...), nevertheless it is fun and as my wife says, addictive, as she once found me on the kitchen way past midnight with a bunch of our kid's acrylics...
As for tips (there are books about this and plenty other sources, including professionals, so take this with a grain of salt...nothing like your own experience and tolerance to frustration to learn anything):
* Use acrylics or other paints/inks that are not toxic (if you plan to eat the "model" afterwards)
* If you travel, have with you a small "field kit" of basics so you can print while away
* Get rid of any slime and pat/air dry the fish so the paint/ink adheres properly
* Start with more 2D fish (flatfish are the easiest), more 3D fish (sculpins, shellfish, tunas, etc) are a bit more tricky
* Although rice paper is traditional, high-quality paper can get pretty expensive. I started with my kid's art paper, butcher paper, old cotton t-shirts, etc. Stay away from synthetic fabrics
* Paint the eyes after the print
* Have fun! If you have kids, probably they would love to help, at least mine does!
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did this with my kids a long time ago and just used poster paints and newsprint.
I like your idea of doing it on fabrics.
j
 
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VMP

Active Member
did this with my kids a long time ago and just used poster paints and newsprint.
I like your idea of doing it on fabrics.
j
Fabrics are easier to handle around fish features and transfer from 3D to 2D when the "model" is not that flat. 100% cotton works best, synthetic makes the paint/ink run. Old/repurposed plain cotton shirts work good, or bed sheets if the catch to print is larger than a t-shirt.
 
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