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First finished fish...please critique

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by dplais7124, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Would love some feedback on this largemouth. It's the first fish I've ever done. I know it has some shrinkage issues, but I'd really like to know how the paint job looks. Thanks in advance[​IMG]
  2. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Top of Head is positioned too low on body
    Spot pattern too low, too blurry?
    Pec fin looks like it is blushing

    Get some good reference photos, lots on this site

    For your first fish, outstanding
    Way better than I did on my first

    Just get reference and compare yourself

  3. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Thanks for the tips. I used a pic that the customer sent with the fish. I've been avoiding fish for years and finally decided to give it a try. I tried to follow the natural pattern on the fish but I think I got carried away on the spots.
  4. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Your basic colors look good
    The spots and the moldy looking spots at the upper belly real stands out
    Get a reference pic blow it up, then take a piece of paper cut a dime size hole.
    Place it over the spots and study what you see.

    Your looking at the whole forest and don't see the trees

    If this is your first, your on the right track
    Try some vine charcoal for your spots and soften to desired effect

  5. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Thanks man I really appreciate the advice. Painting another this week. I'll be sure to do as you suggested.
  6. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Thanks man I really appreciate the advice. Painting another this week. I'll be sure to do as you suggested.
  7. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Biggest painting issue I see is your side barring is too low and indistinct.

    Just for the info. Fish beginners tend to focus WAY too much on the painting. True, a bad paint job can make a decent mount look bad...BUT a BAD mount can never be saved by a good paint job.

    Even though you asked about the paint job i would add:

    Look at your back and belly body profiles, check your center alignments, use good quality fillers that don't shrink. I don't see ANY re-building of shrunken areas on this fish unless I am mistaken. That needs to be addressed. Ragged fins look BAD. Repairing them makes a mount look professional.

    Had you done those things your paint job wouldn't seem so weak.
  8. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Understood. I will be repairing the fins. I just wasn't how I'd do it. Been researching that. I'll correct the side bars on the next one. As for the shrinkage, I guess I didn't want to over do anything. I rebuilt some on top of the head, around the eyes, and a little by the mouth. Sparingly. I've never done a fish prior to this so I didn't know how the paint would transition from skin to apoxie. I didn't want the apoxie areas to stick out and look fake.
  9. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Also, it looks like issues at the base of the tail and the cheek looks overstuffed along with the base of the soft dorsal also looks a bit plump. All in all, I think you did a pretty good job and the fins (except for the ragged look) look better than most beginners. Biggest issue IMO is "first fish" and "customer" should never be used in the same sentence...
  10. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Thanks for your comment. It's for a coworker and he knows it's my first fish. I have another I mounted with a lot of the same issues now that I'm looking at it. Going to be mounting another later this week so I will definitely apply what you guys have says to it.
  11. I think it looks good for your first fish. Just keep practicing, maybe buy the Tom Sexton video "Largemouth A-Z". Great video. I love the advice offered on this website, but don't take the critiques to heart in a negative aspect. I could point out a flaw in any mount, including my own, and I am my own worst enemy when it comes to that. I tend to expect more out of every mount, which is good, but when it comes to commercial work most customers are not willing to pay the cost for quality, they want a decent looking product for a reasonably cheap price. I wish it was the other way around but most of the time it isn't. Hell go to Bass Pro and look around...shady assed taxidermy, yet every corner of the store is chocked full of it and nobody knows how shady it is unless they are a taxidermist. Commercial work is commercial work, and you can't afford to do all the fine details in customer work that you would do for a show, unless they are willing to pay for it. I didn't get much sleep last night so I am a little grumpy, but it just seems that people are always willing to scrap a persons first mount and it is a little irritating at times. Positive reinforcement!!!! This was your first fish, you knew it wasn't going to be perfect, but all I read was negatives instead of positives. Do a few for yourself, study references, see what a competition piece looks like, and you be the judge for yourself. My advice is to have fun doing it and don't use too much paint. Best of luck!
  12. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    I agree with what everyone has already said. BTW, a great first fish, wish I could have done the same 43 years ago when I mounted my first! I would add that I think, and it's just my opinion, that the red tones are a bit strong.
  13. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    I appreciate it guys. I don't take offense to any of the comments. I find them helpful. I'm a firm believer in criticism as long as you're not a jerk about it. I know it isn't perfect and that's ok. As long as my next looks better than my last I consider it progress. I'll have more to post soon and look forward to the critiques.
  14. 1tigger

    1tigger Active Member

    Remember when your working on fish its really not painting at all , it's more like lightly layering shades of color ! Let all the colors come together dont paint ! Good Start .
  15. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Not sure if it was already said, but the mouth is open way too far. "Broken Jaw" look is a common mistake in trying to make a bass into a "bucket mouth".