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Crappie Paint Stencil

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Wally Gator, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Well-Known Member

    IMG_1811.JPG Good evening. I painted my 2nd & 3rd fish today, both black crappie. On the first 2, I painted the spots freehand, and they turned out decent. I wanted to see how the stencil trick worked, so I ordered one a couple weeks ago. I am not going to criticize the stencil, its creator, or anyone who uses them. But I will say that I seriously doubt that I will ever use one again. I had the base color looking very good...I was excited about how this fish was going to turn out. Then made a BIG mess while using the stencil. Had to completely cover the fish white and start over, which hid all the natural spotting. Therefore I had no natural pattern to trace, so I decided to try the stencil again but used a paint pen instead of airbrush. I managed to save the girl, respectably I think, but definitely not the final product I was expecting. And while black crappie vary from place to place and season to season, I don't recall ever seeing them from our local lake with such large spots...ours are a smaller tighter pattern typically.
    Anyway, pic is attached for your dart-throwing pleasure...
    Fallenscale and Sotired like this.
  2. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    Nice job Wally! I don't do warm water so I seldom comment on them, for who am I to criticize what I do not do? I will comment on your use of a stencil though. I am truly happy that YOU are unhappy with the result! This shows growth. Nothing teaches faster than failure!!! No mistakes, just a chance to learn! Now you can go on and develop your own method that WILL satisfy you!

    antlermike likes this.

  3. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your honest input. I had no intention to post the attached photo, but will in response. This is the first fish I mounted, which was only a few weeks ago. I used fish fill on it instead of a form, and didn't even card the fins. I experimented with techniques to fix the fins... there was a huge gap in the tail. I painted it while painting the other one yesterday, and dang if it didn't turn out better. The color and spotting is much more natural, at least relevant to our crappie here in SC.
    Sotired likes this.
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Here is a little hint on how to keep and make spots on crappies, other fish as well, look more a natural. Hit em first with a media of your choice, I use both vine chalk or lacquer paints, then go over them with colors to match your reference. If you feel they are getting too buried hit em again throughout the process.
    Sotired likes this.
  5. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    Accurately painting the spots on crappie bodies and fins ranks right near the top of difficulty for me. Retention of any remains of the original spotting is a great advantage over starting from a blank surface. I don't know if the guy is still on this forum or not but his username is TIMJO. The guy paints the most lifelike dead crappies I have ever seen. With that said, even though his crappie mounts are worthy of using for reference, I still can't replicate how he does it. Sure wish he would post some of his crappies here again.
    Mudbat, Sotired and CCarlson like this.
  6. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    I like the one done freehand over the stencil. I am working on a reproduction Crappie. Looked at stencils for Crappie but the hard edges turned me off . I think using really thinned lacquer paints work much better for doing smaller detailing spots.
    Wally Gator likes this.