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Opinions on how to paint a bowfin

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Piro, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. Piro

    Piro New Member

    I will be painting a bowfin soon (for a state show) and am curious as to what the consensus is on how it should be colored. I've looked over what I could find and I have found three different color schemes.

    Attached are two pictures, one has a definite pattern and the other has an eye on the tail. The third color scheme (not pictured) is mostly plain with very subtle markings. My choice would be the one with the eye on the tail, I just want to be sure that is a correct/best choice.

    Which color would be most/best accepted in a competition in your opinions?

    Attached Files:

  2. Piro

    Piro New Member

    pics were too big, don't know how to make smaller...

    Attached Files:

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I have never seen one with marking shown on the mounted fish. Use a real fish photo for reference. Visit an aquarium, where you can see the live fish. Many states have aquariums with native fish in them. You will see colors and markings that you won't see on a fish out of water.
  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Their colors vary. I don't know about competitions, but if I can paint a fish how I want to - I'm choosing an interesting, colorful fish! That being said, I'd choose the top pic with the markings as it's much more interesting. AND, that variation is not that uncommon. Btw, that looks like a real fish in a tank to me Joey - if that's a mount they did a GREAT job!
  5. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    The Bowfin here have a lot of WEIRD bright blue coloration that I have never seen in any other live fish.

    Make sure that after after you skin and mount the thing that it is not still alive...those things are amazingly tough. :D
  6. Piro

    Piro New Member

    LOL! I'm not an expert, but I'm fairly certain my specimen is not alive ;D

    thanks! I agree, and I don't think it would be too difficult to recreate something similar to those markings

    all that I've seen in aquariums in NC are bland looking, and locally they're the same almost mono-color coloration, kinda boring looking... perhaps it was the time of the year or the water temps affecting the colors?
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    The bottom pic is what MOST of the bowfin look like around here too. But, it's more interesting doing something MORE INTERESTING - lol! Just produce photos of your reference if you can do that? Again, the top version is not too uncommon...
  8. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Work from a picture of a live or recently caught fish and go with that. Do not include the picture for the judge unless you have knocked it out of the park. All fish vary in color intensity, even from the same body of water. The ones I see have very little distinguishing marks that need to be applied however that said putting on a few near the tail wont hurt. Good luck JL.
  9. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    Yeah....the last one I caught (on a fly-rod hitting a black spider I use for gills) had bright green fins and a head so hard you could drive nails with it.
    As far as tough....after I caught it, I brought it home thinking I might mount it. I had it in a large tub of water for awhile and left. When I came home, it was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere and found it UNDER my truck some 15 yards away laying under it, in the shade. I thought it was toast and when I went to grab it, it took off as fast as it could on the cement....LOL. I thought, you deserve to live and released in a local private pond with permission.......
  10. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

  11. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC

    If your going to compete with it make sure you use accurate colors from reference
    But with that being said it also needs to be appealing to the eye

    Get as much reference as possible and follow your gut

  12. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    Here is one I just finished. Remember not to use a mount as reference. This is just to give you ideas to think about.

    Attached Files: