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Painting a Brook Trout Essay

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by birdfreak, May 1, 2010.

  1. birdfreak

    birdfreak New Member

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    Hey everybody. Welcome to my painting a brook trout essay. This thread is not really intended as a tutorial, its the good, the bad, and the ugly of what I went through to paint my fish. Some of you may find my method helpfull but hopfully its entertaining to all. Critiques and comments are welcome on anything you see here.

    Here is my canvas. Its a Denis Arp fish from McKenzie DABK176 18 1/2 inch Reproduction, modified to closed mouth. Dorsal, Anal, and Tail fins all attached and the others were fitted on for latter attachment. I'm going to focus on one area of the fish at a time i.e. body, head, then the fins. The eyes were a pair of tohickons that I had laying around. I scraped off the paint and repainted them.
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    I lighlty antiqued the fish with a black/blue wash. I didn't want to do a heavy antique because the detail of the arp line is usually crap, like missing scales or smooth areas, I will scale tip later to make up for that.
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    I'm trying something new on this brookie. I masked the whole fish with liquid mask. I did spots and the lighter vermiculations on the back and belly.
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    Again trying something new. I saw JKnuth on a earlier thread discuss color theory and paint on a muskie. I thought I would try it. I sprayed marine blue on all areas that will be green. darker on the back and lighter on the sides. you can see the masking picked up the color better than than the replica.
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    I pealed off all the masking( it was really fun, I feel like I'm coloring an easter egg) then sprayed a light coat of blue over the back. and a base coat on the head just to get me started on it for later
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    Sprayed a mix on bright yellow and yellow ocre over the blue and made a bright green. yeah I know its not evenly coated. I need to layer a different color to tone that bright green down.
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    Here I layered a mix of brown and ocre over all the green for
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    Red on the belly. gill red, then yellow ocre layred on top of that.
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    Black on the belly and then removed the mask to find that the edges of the black was too harsh and the belly was too white. I softened the edges by detailing black over my existing pattern and then grayed the belly with a fine mist of black. afterwards if put a very pale yellow, almost white, mist over the belly to give the white some color and gray the black so it was not soo bold.
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    While playing with the black I put some water in my paint to make it a little more transparent. I'm using Hydromist BTW 8). and darkened the back
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    Blue Halos. Some brookies have a ton of them. but I elect to only put a dozen on.
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    red spots. Its a mix of gill red and bright yellow, painted on with a brush
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    I stepped back and thought my fish looked pretty good, till........ I loaded my picture on the computer and compared side by side my pic with my reference :p
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    There are so many things that are wrong haha. The red dots need to be airbrushed on so that they are softer looking. the blue halos are too large and bright. they need to be subdued. the spots in general are too large and dull. they will get brighter. the vermiculations are too large as well. they could have been narrower and more vertical and the green background could be darker while the spots get lighter. there is alot more I can see but I will start with fixing the obvious. I do however think that I'm on the right road with the color of red on the belly and the verimiculations of black underneath. I will post later today with my progress hopfully it will be done today. got a lot of things to do. places to be people to see. later 8)
     
  2. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    Holy shit!!!!
     

  3. Steve Betkoski

    Steve Betkoski Member

    76
    3
    Very nice ! Can't wait to see the rest.
     
  4. jemmick

    jemmick Active Member

    676
    76
    WNY
    encore, encore!!!!
     
  5. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    CH your fish is looking good, but you could have done as well just using an airbrush. I realize you are trying a new technique and I applaud you for that...it's the only way to learn and improve. Brook trout like so many other species will produce many differences in color and spotting and vermiculation size. If I may comment....your spots are too monotone (most are round or close to round) compared to your reference fish. Look closely and you will see some very small irregular shaped spots and indeed some are bean shape, tucked in between the larger ones. Your reference fish is typical of an adult brookie and has vermiculations on it's head while they appear to be missing on your rendition. Also, even though you should never say never,you seldom see the blue halos with the red spots beyond the vent or the beginning of the anal fin, and your reference fish reinforces this basic rule and you have done these very well. The belly vermiculations will differ from fish to fish and yours are looking pretty good except that they should be evenly divided from the center line of the abdomen. In your picture these are well placed from the gills to the abdominal fins but from the abdominals to the anal they are way off center and are too heavy on the right side.
    Please accept these observations as helpful comments as I do several brook trout each year and have been doing them for over 50 years and have made many mistakes like these while trying to make a perfect brookie. Good luck...JL
     
  6. Manny

    Manny New Member

    Cant wait for more !

    Been wanting a Brook myself...
     
  7. birdfreak

    birdfreak New Member

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    I just finished the body and sealed it with matte finish so I got time to post an update while I wait for the seal to dry and cure. I knew I messed up with the spots after the fact. If I had my reference right next to me I could have had a better pattern but my reference was all the way across the room. lol oh well. I will get the next one down. this is my second brook trout ever.

    I darkened the fish with a black mist and then pulled out my old prisma colors to lighten the spots and inner blue halo. I switched to prisma color pencils instead of airbrush because my airbrush is crap. It might be a bad tip or something but detail with certain colors are hard to do without messing up.
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    Yellow prisma color over white
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    I painted yellow ocre with a fine tip brush over the worm markings and highlited th spots
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    Red spots with pencil
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    I'm going to town get some lunch then the bank and I will be back to start the head and hopfully the fins before I have to go again.
     
  8. of

    of New Member

    Great work so far!! ;D I could not stand to finish the picture you started with your airbrush on that cardboard! Keep up the good work
     

    Attached Files:

  9. birdfreak

    birdfreak New Member

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    lol thanks for finishing that mouse for me Oliver. And now here is the rest of the story.

    worm markings on the head with a black pencil
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    Yellow Ocre sprayed all over the head and thicker towards the nose
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    Gill red highlightedn at the tip of the mouth
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    Detail white
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    Metalics, I used that cheep acrylic stuff at wallmart and rubbed it on with my fingers. colors used. silver pearl, gold, copper
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    Blue blemishes with the air brush
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    Detail black. I turned down the air pressure to produce a spatter effect or in other words lots of tiny black dots instead of a mist.
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    Head is finished. and now on to the fins. I masked the fins, and blued areas that will be green later on.
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    Yellow ocre over the fins
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    Red
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    detail white
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    detail black with a hand brush
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    I subdued the black on the dorsal and tail with yellow ocre. now that I have used yellow tice on the fins i would guess that I could have skipped the earlier yellow and would have been just as good aplied at this step.
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    I scale tipped this fish with that same acrylic silver and really watered it down so that it wasn't so bright. The fish is finished. fins were attached with five minute epoxy. and glossed with triple thick krylon.
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    Overall I'am satisfied with the finished product. It still isn't very close to my reference but this was a good learning experince.
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    I liked the liquid mask trick and would probably try it again. on another fish. maybe with a little more practice I can better judge how much blue to put down and yellow to layer over it to get the right color of green. I can see now that the black down the belly is a little ascew between the pelvic and anal fins. I appreciate the advice JL! Airbrushed vermiculations and spots on other peoples work are probably better than the detail on this fish. but you have to work with what you got. right now I can't afford a better brush, so i'm trying alternatives. thinning paint with DA hasn't seemed to help much in my gun. I wish I could have made better shapes with the spots and worm pattern. there wasn't much I could do after the paint went on unless I started over. But I do like using prisma color for detailing, I will be using them more often. Here is a list of materials used to paint my blank.
    Hydromist airbrush paint; yellow ocre, bright yellow, gill red, ultramarine blue, black, off white
    Prisma color; yellow, white, black, light red
    metalic acrylic; gold, silver metalic(it had a lot of pearl), copper
    Krylon Clear sealer; matte and gloss
    Winsor and Newton Watercolor masking fluid
     
  10. of

    of New Member

    Great!!
     
  11. Taxi-lover

    Taxi-lover Active Member

    Awesome!!
     
  12. Nice job.
     
  13. J_Guid

    J_Guid New Member

    Very cool!
     
  14. WNWA

    WNWA New Member

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    nice job, cant wait see more....
     
  15. 7-Point

    7-Point Active Member

    that fish is very nice. great work
     
  16. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Absolutely wonderful CH! Excellent teaching tutorial!!! Well done!!!

    Rick Krane
     
  17. really really nice man :)
     
  18. birdfreak

    birdfreak New Member

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    Thanks for the compliments! But what is some of your thoughts on what I have done, what would you change or what do you like. such as layering yellow on top of blue, or using masking. I personally would like to try masking again but don't think I will spray the fish blue and layer yellow to make green. The reason I did on this one was to hopefully kill two birds with one stone, Green the fish and turn the spots yellow. I'm thinking next time I will spray the fish yellow first and seal with matte, then mask my spots and vermiculatution and then shoot my premixed green on top of the yellow, then remove my masking.
     
  19. kikkertinz

    kikkertinz Glass half full

    that makes me want to say the hell with my bear hunt in quebec in june and just go after thier brookies up there lol !!!!
     
  20. Clete

    Clete The A-10. My kind of warthog

    121
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    Hey CH,
    The brook turned out great! Since you asked for suggestions, I have one for you. Look closely at the reference picture that you posted. Try to look at just one spot. Notice that the yellow spots have a dark halo around them. Most trout have halos around their spots. Try painting your spots a dark camouflage green first. Then fill them in 90% of the way with your yellow ochre spot color, leaving a dark green halo around each spot. It will add a whole new layer of depth in your paint job.