just got done painting a smallie for a customer,but i haven't put the clear coat on it yet. the customer stoped by and notice his fish he said it looked good but wanted to know if i could light'n up a little bit i was wondering what color paint to use, a gold toner or a amber oxide. the fish was real dark in color when he caught it so i painted it that way.would like to light'n in up without stripping it. thanks
Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu
more qualified experts here to help you here than I, but for what it's worth, I think the gold toner or amber oxide will just be dominated by the dark skin because of its transparency. You may try to tip many of the scales with a gold yellow metallic paint(or gold pearl powder mixed with a little gold toner) using a bristle brush not your air brush. Somewhat similar to how many of us tip the scales on a walleye. I have done this many times on very dark smallies with good results. You can also try airbrushing a metallic base and then redoing your markings but it may come out muddy.Good luck and I too may learn a new technique here.
First off, I would've told the customer that it was a dark fish (and he should've said something BEFORE you painted the fish IF he wanted it differently).
That said, tipping the scales is really the only solution I know of. I use gold powder mixed with basecoat. IF you try spraying gold over things you're going to screw up your bar markings and have to re-do that. Maybe even screw it up more. Gold toner will just darken the fish even more. Any paint other than gold is going to darken the fish more. Tip the scales, tell him the lighting stinks in your display room and show it to him outside or where you can get good lighting. That in itself should make it appear lighter...
Tipping & maybe a bit of very light gold (thinned ) down,..then put it in a lighted show room,so it blings ! I use halogins,(blue)-
can change colors quite a bit after caught, put one on a stringer and watch. As stated above, the gold should help. Something to try in the future if you have a fish dry exceptionally dark is to use a small amount of bleach to lighten up before painting. I use this followed by a little acetone to remove any bleach residue. This is something I picked up in a Tom Sexton seminar that works well. Good Luck!
I always inform the customer that many fish skins oxidize just after they are caught or even shortly after they die. especially smallies and fall run trout and salmon. How the customer handled their fish at this time greatly affects how their fish will look. Often you can tell which side they laid the fish on when fresh caught and during the time it died.I ALWAYS explain this when they bring in a photo, as well as explain that a photo taken in different lighting as well as where they have the photo developed will have an effect on what the pic looks like.I even have photo examples of the same fish in shade as well as direct sunlight hung in my studio. Some pics that I have seen come off a printer and I reject right out. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell the coloration has been polluted in the processing. The info on bleaching is VERY good and useful but, you have to be very careful with the timing of the bleach. Leave it bleach a hair too long and a funky brown color emerges. Good luck!
...Just a personal preference (because I know it works), but bleach is awfully harsh on anything. And I don't like taking any chances with my fish skins...
Infact, I forgot to say that I have only done it to skins when they are still wet and pliable,not after the skin has been put on the form and dried. Bleaching does lighten the skin but also changes the hue or coloration of the skin which I don't really care for. Have not tried it on a dry skin yet.