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Painting a Bluegill Reproduction

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Cole, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I had a bluegill replica to paint for a wholesale customer, and thought I'd photo the process and do a tutorial on what I came up with for a paint schedule. I have to give credit to Rick Krane and Gary Bruch for some of the techniques and methods I used, but as usual, I tweaked them a bit to fit my needs. I started w/ nothing but a reference picture and went from there.

    First, I used thinned bondo instead of Gelcoat, and casted the custom replica. After prepping the cast, I painted the entire thing white:

    I then used steel wool to remove the white paint from the scale ridges, leaving the paint in the crevices.

    Using watercolor pencils, I lightly colored the scales being careful not to color in the scale pockets. (just go lightly) After laying down the color, I hit the blank with a spritz or two from an atomizer bottle of water. I then lay a dry paper towel over the blank to soak up excess water, but be careful not to smudge the colors. This brightens the colors, and softens the pencil marks. I first used olive green on the back, and framed in the stripes w/ indigo.

    I used reference, and water color penciled dark violet on the markings, and near the anal fin, and the sides of the fish with rose pink extending up between the stripes. Spritz and paper towel the fish again.

    Payne's Gray over the back of the fish

    Transparent Amber Oxide over the back, and throat area, to knock down the blue of the Payne's Gray.

    Black Green over the back of the fish. I also hand painted the spots on the back behind the head w/ watercolors.

    Payne's Gray to detail the fins.

    Yellow Ochre light over the back and heavier in the tail and throat area. (notice I masked off the gill cover w/ tape)

    Mallard orange in the same areas as the Yellow Ochre.

    Using a Scarlet Lake water color pencil, I tipped the orange throat area, then used a fine artist brush dipped in water to soften the tippings.

    I darkened the back w/ Dark Brown, and also darkened the bottom of the orange throat area, then removed the masking.

    Black Green again over the back and head.

    Black green outlines the dark flap of the gills, followed by Paynes Gray in the same area. I also detailed with white where I wanted the blue markings under the head.

    Now I start with my dry powders. I apply them with small artist brushes. Turquoise Blue on the markings that I just painted white, and several colors on the head. (Bright yellow, Carbon Black, Interference Gold, Duo Green/Yellow, Duo Blue/Green, Interference Blue, and Micropearl) Use reference.

    I then went to the body, covering the whole side and belly with a large makeup brush loaded with Interference Violet Powder. I then tipped individual scales w/ Flamingo Pink, Duo Blue/Green, and Duo Green/Yellow. Seal the powders with Polytranspar Sealer.

    Here are a couple pics of my un-glossed fish next to the reference pic I used. I know it's not exact, and there is a lot more detail work I could do, but like I said this is a wholesale fish, and not a show piece.

    And finally, the glossed bluegill.
    Marcantela likes this.
  2. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Very nice.

  3. Well done!
  4. Awesome!
  5. Smeja

    Smeja New Member

    the finished piece looks amazing! very life like
  6. HiTines

    HiTines New Member

    Excelent tutorial , great job.
  7. Kevin Halle

    Kevin Halle Well-Known Member

    Outstanding!! thanks
  8. Awesome! Thanks!
  9. Cole...very well done ! Good job of matching the finished replica to the customer ref. pic !
  10. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    Awesome job!
  11. Manny

    Manny New Member

    Thank the time you dedicated !
    Great job
  12. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

    Awesoe job Cole. Thanks for all you contribute to us less gifted folks. :)
  13. cwt

    cwt Active Member

    very nice
  14. You are definitely a talented fellow!
  15. Very well done indeed. Thanks for posting.
  16. axel

    axel Member

    Well done Cole. Hard to believe you could top the LMB tutorial but I think you did just that!!
  17. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Thanks guys, I just hope someone gets something from it.
  18. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)



    Excellent tutorial!


  19. Hoss0902

    Hoss0902 I drink to make other people seem more interesting

    Wow! Cole

    that is awesome
  20. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    Very nice Cole. to bad you painted the wrong side. send it to me and just do another. ;D