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Rainbow Trout upgrade.... Pictures added! Please comment looking for advice.

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Lonewolf_8126, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. I had a client bring me a 10 year old mount of a rainbow trout, that he wanted redone. Here are before and after photos, please let me know what you think. I am quite happy with the finished product as is the client. But I am always open to constructive criticism.
     

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  2. Re: Rainbow Trout upgrade... Pictures addedd!

    Here are a few more pics. For this project, I started by removing the head and fins. Once that was done I wiped the skin down with acetone to give me a clean surface. I then added an artificial head and fins.
     

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  3. Re: Rainbow Trout upgrade... Pictures added!

    After securing the head, fins and setting eyes, I sealed the fish and began laying down my paint layers.
     

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  4. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    100 percent better. Head junction looks rough, spots made with sharpie not as good as one could achieve with an airbrush, fins are too opaque and lack detail for my taste. I think it would have looked better if you would have added some scale detail by antiquing the fish after you whited it out. Also some scale detail would have helped a lot.

    You asked but again 100 percent better than the original and there isn't much you could have done with the anatomy.
     
  5. Too late to change it if the customer has it back .But from what I can see it needs a lot more spots in the lower belly and a few on rhe head like the original fish has . More colour on the gill cover , highlighted detail on the fins to give a more natural look , a smoother head and tail transition and as cecil said some scale detail .Just my 2 cents worth , but at the end of the day if the clients happy then thats all that matters . :)
     
  6. Another point to watch, check your reference material. The red stripe follow the lateral line on the center of the body. It usually tapers off before the tail. You have it wide and going to the bottom of the tail. Get some good photos of real trout and study how the color patterns lays and it will help you tremendously. Use body landmarks for start/stop points and practice. Experiment! Like Cecil said, You improved the mount SO much! Now you can improve your technique.

    ~S
     
  7. Thank you all for the insight....I personally agree with the comments on the fins, this is the first time I have ever used artificial fins and wasn't sure how to get that realistic look to them. I think it may have been the type of fins I ordered.

    As far as antiquing goes...what is that? I actually didn't white out the skin...I stripped it with acetone and then sealed it. Then just started layering my colors. I am still trying to learn the in's and out's of my airbrushing, I was taught by the school I went to, to use a sharpie for the spots....but I plan on ending that practice. I am trying to figure out the whole paint thinning and consistency issues, which is what stops me from attempting fine detail with an airbrush.
     
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Antiquing is something you typically do on replicas although not everyone does it the same way. I white out mounts I refurbish as many times the old paint doesn't come off well or I don't want to deal with paint stripper. It also shows me lifted scales and imperfections better.

    Anyway on a mount I white out, (which leaves me with same start as a replica) I seal well it with fungicidal sealer. Then I go over the scaled areas with dark brown and rub off most of it with fine steel wool. This leaves scale detail. Then paint.
     
  9. Cecil,

    Thanks for the insight on antiquing a fish, I will definitely have to implement that technique into my work
     
  10. lonewolf , did the artificial fins have ray detail ? The best way to accentuate that is to use a darker colour than you already have on the fin such as dark brown or green/brown , airbrush the colour lightly across the fin , that will highlite the fin detail , providing the detail was there in the fin mould .
     
  11. They did have a little bit of ray detail in the fins. The fins themselves came in a sheet of plastic and had to be cut out....next time I do a project like this, I plan on using Dennis Arp fins. They have more detail than the ones I used
     
  12. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I know exactly whose fins you used. Only bought them once and never again. I will not name the name of the brand as I don't want to get my ass chewed. LOL
     

  13. Thats fine Cecil, there is no need to name names...the fins are fine for someone with more expertise in fish. For me though...I'm in the same boat, never again...I was trying to do a good job with a limited budget. Wasn't sure how to go about pricing a job like this since its the first time I attempted a project like this.
     
  14. Jim
    Anatomy is key, before you ever lay down a stroke of paint.
    Head junction to body, fin position, fin butts to body, eye set, and fin detail.
    Study Good Reference pictures.
    I also would recommend going to a workshop thru your taxidermy association or one on one with one of the masters in your area.
    Just something to consider. Take care Jim!
     
  15. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman taxidermist / instructor

    Jim,
    the first thing that i noticed was that there was no color under the eye and forward ( the maxillary bone) or the lower jaw. Do a little blending in that area next time according to your reference.
    Also, as someone already mentioned, the lateral stripe does not normally go from gill flap to the tail. Look at a few Rainbow pictures and you will have better results on the next one.
    I can tell that you already have the right basic skills. All you need to do is keep at it.
     
  16. Just blew this up to help illustrate the head junction. Should be more gentle. Trout don't move their heads at the neck like mammals do. Try for a straight line/gentle slope next time. Also, as others have pointed out, use reference photos for coloring. You're on your way with a great start! Wish I had such great mentors as these guys to help me when I started out!!!
     

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  17. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Jim, All good advice here and yes the head juncture is off a bit. IMHO it's your painting that needs the most attention. Look at the two pics that Sotired supplied. Study them carefully. Look for other colors and pay particular attention to hard edges and soft edges. For instance, where the top of the fish color ends at the eye on your paint job vs. the real fish. Notice the harsh jagged line on the real fish vs. the fussy edge of yours. Take an old manilla folder or a piece of cardboard and rip the edge a bit and use it as a blocker below the eye when you hit this color. That is how guys get the harsh jagged line. Look at your stripe. Notice how on the real fish it starts out skinny/fat/skinny. Angle your airbrush almost parallel to the fish when you start your "pink" stripe and start it on each end (The spray will be finest/pointy from the direction you're spraying so spraying head to tail and tail to head as you get closer to the tail. Move your air brush in a slow stroking motion even before you pull the trigger. This is how you'll get that pointy edge at the start of your pink stripe and the end. Take a close look at the ref pic. In fact you can zoom in on pics a lot to see the colors if you are having a hard time seeing colors. Believe me, there's a lot of reflective colors in "silver" fish and if you're leaving those out you're missing the depth. Continue comparing your fish to the ref pic. Your placement of colors are a tad off typically too. I think it would be wise to break the paper out and start doing some air brushing exercises (typically in your air brush manual) on paper to try to master your air brushing techniques. Lastly, another solid piece of advice I can give you is to NOT rely on the air brush so much. You will have a lot more control with your details if you use colored pencils, shiva sticks, waxes and powders, charcoals - you name it. In fact for many of us as we become well versed with the air brush we discover the more fish we do the less we use the air brush. Not all, but many of us. Ultimately, I think IF you REALLY want to learn - which I think you do, I think you really need to go back to reference and start seeing some of the things I mentioned that I'm not so sure you're seeing. Secondly, I think it would be invaluable for you to take a painting course with Rick Krane or whomever - I also teach. Or buy videos. I'm pretty sure once you see somebody using some of these techniques you'll have a better idea how to implement them.

    P.S. Dump the Sharpie too! Try using a water color pencil and dip the tip in water to create your spots if you want more control. It's fast and gives the right edge to the spots. That's all I'm giving up! For any more you gotta take the course!
     
  18. Good advice Marty, especially with the watercolor pencils!!! I find they give the most realistic spots, when done right. And Jim, don't rely on just black for spots!!! Try all kinds of dark colors. I found dark grays, like Paynes gray looked better on most Rainbows, some need a dark green or brown. Experimenting is the name of the game! Found some pics trying to show some iridescence. Had to shrink them to fit on here, so they lost some! But you should get some idea.

    One other thing, don't ever assume that all spots are round!!! Look at the reference pics!

    ~S
     

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  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Thanks Sotired! Great advice as well on the color differences. Also, love the eye tilts on those reference pics!
     
  20. Thanks Marty, I had to shrink them to get the site to accept the size, I am disappointed in the second one. It clearly showed blue,violet, rose, turquoise, gold, and orange reflectance! I try to save all the useful photos I can.

    ~S