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Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by rough water, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. rough water

    rough water Member

    I am having a terrible time getting my dots light enough when doing a bar pattern on a gill or bass. I am using jet black and mixing it with white to get a lighter black/grey....but they stick out like a sore thumb!!!! Can anyone help me with this please? It's very frustrating to have the entire fish done and then adding the spots, only to have to strip the paint and try it over again. I'm following a paint schedule that I purchased from WASCO (I think) and adjusting the colors to match the specific color pattern of the fish. The schedule calls for the bars to be painted near the end of the painting...I thought maybe I need to do the bars first and then add the other colors to "dull" the black dots down, but it seems the schedule would be accurate on the order.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. giffdog

    giffdog New Member

    I just finished a bluegill repro and I put the bars on first when I antiqued the fish. I just lightly rubbed in between the bars and lightly over them. then I painted the fish as normal. maybe darkening near the end but not really neccessary.

  3. you can put them on first with a charcol stick or pencil then take 00 steelwool and buff them to tne shade you want then seal your bars so they wont rub off
  4. Curt

    Curt Family Life member of the NTA

    X-2 snagmaster
  5. TomL

    TomL New Member

    I use polytranspar lacquers. I've found using dark bass green instead of black works well. It's still fairly dark but doesn't seem to come off as bold as black. It seems to blend in more naturally.
  6. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    If you continue to do your bars last ( you will change that someday, as well as the color used, and use more then one color too) anyhow if you continue to do them last, use a wa base paint, if you continue to paint them in. That way you can seal your fish, then put on the bars. If you dont like them take some windex spray it on a paper towel and wipe the bars off and try again...but building them through out the paint job is best. IMO

    Good Luck
  7. bnoody

    bnoody Member

    You have received a lot of great feedback already, all will get you closer to the desired effect.

    You should probably also thin the color down a lot to make it more transparent. Adding white to lighten it will make it more opaque. I suggest you thin it down at least 60 - 70% with wetlook gloss and add retarder so you can spray your color very lightly, but still create a thin distinct marking where needed. This will allow you to more easily build the intensity of the markings until you get the look your seeking.

    I'm not a fan of using black to do this and would use a combination of other colors as suggested earlier like dark bass green.
  8. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    I would also suggest using a dark green, but also you may be spraying straight at the surface. Try holding your airbrush at an angle to the surface when spraying details such as these. Proper paint viscosity also a must.
  9. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    MEDIUM green is generally dark enough to do what you want. Unless your background is too dark, then you can add dark brown to your med. gr., ONE drop at a time! Don't add too much. Get rid of that Black, when you actually need something approaching black, mix dark blue and dark brown and you will get a "soft" black that is far more natural than any black that you can buy.
  10. Everything above is sound advise and will yield a slightly different effect.Don't be afraid to experiment with combinations of all of these methods,you can/ will get some awesome results.I like the charcoal sticks/metallic powders myself,(antique bronze powder is one of my favorites for barring/ spots on bass),as Joey said ,build in layers and seal in between each step and you can achieve a very soft subtle look.
  11. rough water

    rough water Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I will try the different colors and mixing it with some gloss. I may experiment with the charcoal pencil also.

  12. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    Polytranspar has a great color for markings that is already thinned. It's called musky green. I've only used the lacquer version so I can't speak for the water based. It's one of my favorite colors for a variety of fish.
  13. I, like snagmaster, too use the Charcoal pencils to make the spots, but use a small paintbrush and stemple each dot as much as you want to soften. I just screw up too much with air brush.
  14. Painting vertical bars on a Bluegill is very hard to paint convincingly like the vermiculation on a Brookie. I like to paint bars on a bluegill first and then paint the fish. I have entered many Bluegills in competition over the years and it seems just about everyone of them had a comment from the judge about being painted looking. I'm still working on it.