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Fish critique

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Diesel_19, May 28, 2014.

  1. Diesel_19

    Diesel_19 New Member

    I'm wanting to get better at fish so I figured where better to get help than here... Big or small let me know ANYTHING that can be improved. Thanks in advance- Austin
  2. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I'll be interested in hearing the experts because it looks similar to how I do my fish as far as color tones. I add some powders and mottling on the head some. I also add more colors lightly on the fins like red. Some of the scale tipping looks a bit overdone to me and overall it could be softer/more natural in places. I'm sure some of the experts will be able to give you specifics.

  3. bad photography, lol.
    Your on the right track here, the fish looks a lot better than most. Here are a couple things I think you should focus on
    1. Epoxy work/rebuilding shrunken areas. This jumps out at me more than most things I can see in this photo. You can take this as far as you want but I would start small, lips, under the jaw ext...
    2. Anatomy. Can't see a lot in this photo but both the anal and soft dorsals (the rear of the fins) sit too high/ overbuilt. Imagine the fin laying down when not all the way extended, these could not. The very last fin ray should coming from where the scale line or base of fin is and not 1/8" off of the fish. The muscle is ok but I would tone down that spot a bit, pull on that bone when mounting and push in where it should be coming out of. Now flip to the front of the anal fin and it looks down to where it should attach to the skeleton and also looks thick and fleshy just like it should:) Upper front visual line looks a bit off, can't pinpoint it but head may be a bit too high. Mouth a little too far open, you could try to shoot for an L shape and no further of an angle than the L, would look more natural. Pelvic fins look really well place. Also focus on your fin work. Some appear just trimmed. For a clean professional look back then trim clean or for more natural either do not trim or back and burn edges.
    Tough tell in pic, but cheek (especially upper portion and needs maxillary bone depression where the bone sits when mouth closes, upper portion hurts eye set and makes look too deep, keep in mind the fish can look backwards to an extent and the check should be thin enough there for the eye to be able to do so.
    Tail looks shrunk a little at the base, could use rebuilt along with thinning the form where the tail connects which appears too thick at the hinge (draw a line between the top and bottom connecting points of the tail to the body, that is where the bones are that move the fin rays and that spot should be thinner, approx. 1/4-5/8" from tail)
    3.Paint- Looks way more advanced than your other finish work. I would focus more on anatomy and rebuilding. Easy to say this is too dark or light, more of this color here or there but LM bass are all so different and vary so much its tough to tell so just use good reference. One thing you could try with the spots and dark markings. Get a box of vine or willow charcoal (they sell it in the crafts section even at Walmart for a couple dollars). Later in you paint job use them to lightly make your markings. Then softly diffuse by tapping with a mop brush, tapping but do not drag and smear. Then if too dark lightly blow off any excess, if not too dark leave it. Then hit with a quick clear to lock the color on. Little softer and easier way to control markings for me anyway.

    Your on the right track, keep up the good work!! For some rebuilding tips I think the Breakthrough Fish Finishing Manual would also help and the Breakthrough Fish Taxidermy Manual for some of the mounting stuff and anatomy stuff, it even has X-Rays which would make what I was saying about some of the fins easier to visualize.
  4. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Now that GoT pointed out most of that, I see it. I saw the cheek before and noticed a couple of the other things, but it's hard to tell because of the photography like he said. Try taking a picture with better light, but without a flash. The glare makes it difficult to see. Also take a picture of the top and bottom of the head so the rebuilt or shrunken areas can be seen. You'll get a better critique that way, but I think GoT was spot on.
  5. Diesel_19

    Diesel_19 New Member

    Thank you for the time you took to type all of that... I've been more concerned with the paint than the anatomy, I do need to get those breakthroughs.
  6. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna agree with some of what Bryce has mentioned. The biggest issue is the head and rebuilding as mentioned. The cheek is overfilled and yes the maxillary looks to be too far forward with no pocket to lay in.
    I like the anatomy for the most part (outside of the slight depression below the soft D) and you can easily (on the next one) make the soft dorsal and anal compliment the flow of the anatomy and look better by simply tucking those fins closer to the body when they are carded. I also think the mouth position is fine. I like the position of the paired fins also. Transition at tail junction could be smoother but looks really pretty good...
    Paint's nice and yes, scale tipping can be a chapter on its own...lol. Dont worry about that. Your middle marking line and vermiculations are quite good. A little mist of any shade of yellow in the lower half would be desirable to me.
    You work on the head area on the next one and you'll trump a whole lot of other mounted bass out there. Good work.
  7. den007

    den007 Active Member

    I cannot get too picky here. I would be happy to give that fish to any customer, but I am not a competition guy and don't nit pick too much. We can always improve, but I would not worry about the fish at all. Photography works better if you take pics before gloss. IMHO