New Fish Art - Speckled Trout and Redfish

I'm loving using this Gyotaku ("fish rubbing") technique to paint the fish I catch. The old, raw look is really cool sometimes, leaving just a monotone black & white image, but lately I've been exploring some fully-involved color studies. For paintings here, I picked a spotted seatrout (or speckled trout, or "Speck" as they're better known on the panhandle) and redfish I caught over in West Bay / Panama City Beach to really try and replicate the natural, vibrant colors they exhibit when they're alive. Those specks have got such a cool, mirror-like sheen that reflects just about every color you can think of, and it's crazy work to try and translate that with dull, opaque paint. Still I gave it a shot. I started with a traditional grayish, monotone print pulled directly off the fish (mostly just so I could work quick and then still clean and eat the fish), and once those were dry I used acrylic paint to meticulously add thin glazes of color on top of the underlying "fish print". My work is usually a little more off the wall in terms of composition, structure, color, whatever, but I'm kinda digging these focused color studies. Anyway, lemme know whatcha think.


  • Richie Gudzan

    Nick – tough to say because some of it was wet-in-wet, and some was done after the underlying layers were dry. Probably 20+ over the course of a few weeks (same thing for the Speckled Trout). I really enjoy that process, though lately I’ve started keeping the layers much thinner and less numerous, letting the underlying “fish print” show through a little more.

  • Nick Atkins

    I think your fish prints are pretty awesome. You say you’re using thin glazes of acrylic. How many layers of color would you say you used one the redfish?

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