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A Black Crappie Painting Essay

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Rick Krane, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    A Black Crappie Painting Essay

    I have been asked by a few of the good folks on the Taxidermy .Net to share a bit of Mr., Randy Kittles of Athens Georgia Crappie experience with you all. So I hope you learn a bit from this and at least it may help you with a question or 2 you may have had. Enjoy!

    Your Friend
    Rick Krane
    Lets first take a look at some of the work that went into the Crappie before the paint work is applied.
    Ready to cast!
    Casting the head!
    The template!
    First foam cut!
    Carving basics!
    Head fitting!
    the Grid work!
    Final carve!
    The skin... Perfect!
    Taxi Time!
    The final fit!
    A great fish for sure!!!

    Darken the head for detail steelwooling
    Randy hand paints any molded areas to match skin tones.
    The head is ready as well as the body for some color.
    The lower jaw and the lower belly are misted white.
    Sliver pearl is appled to the face and the upper head also misting the lower to mid section of the body.
    Randy applies Trans Amber oxide to the upper 1/2 of the fish including the fins on the body.
    Light Bass green is misted on the face and head and selectively on the center of the body
    Some red and Violet shimmers are applied to the scales with brushes
    Face shimmers are also applie, slivers, blues and golds. All Crappie are diffrent so use reference
    Randy rolls the fish in his hand to see if the colors are intens enough.
    Hand painting the scales on the body to frame in the markings.
    Randy airbrushes the markings.
    Here is Randy with his finshed Fish.
    This is the end results of a soft paint job.
    Fallenscale and Lance.G like this.
  2. Very nice!
    Thanks for posting the essay
    He sure does have a grin on his face, you can tell he is happy with the results.

    The really funny thing to me is this picture


    I have the same set of photos of crappies on my wall! Thank god for the interweb! LOL
    I do have one question.
    How do you remove the fins without rays splitting?
    Oh so help me don't answer with "Very carefully!"
    ;D lol

  3. hi rick thanks for the essay ! i still yet to do my first cast of a mammel . that fish looks good !!!!
  4. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Hey Josh!

    Well.... OK I won't say it LOL! What we done is carfully cut along the soft skin edge with a blade of choice and cut deep enough to remove the skin back then carefully snip the roots away exposing the fin cleanly. Pretty straight forward but a few times it is a bit of practice like any thing else we do!!

    Have a great one!

    Your friend Rick
  5. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    Great, thanks Rick. I like the way you guys blended in the head. Brought it right in. Also like your fin carding method, LOL.
  6. fesekula

    fesekula Active Member

    Rick, You are truly a master and a teacher of fish taxidermy. Thank you for your time and wisdom.
  7. Cool thats kind of what i figured. It looked like a nice clean cut.
    Ive been removing fins more and more then reattaching them. It makes handling and painting so much easier.
    Thanks for the good tips!
  8. Josh , I was pleased with the results, but I was trying not to laugh at Rick , cracking jokes. Rick forgot to mention ,blending the fins seams with Fin Magic . It`s a great product for this area. Thanks Rick for sharing this step by step process with all our freinds on this website. Randy K.
  9. Bill_H

    Bill_H New Member

    what exactly is trans amber oxide ?(compared to life tone).
  10. Bill , Transparent Amber Oxide is a transparent brownish yellow paint. It is a Lifetone color that is great for toning . WASCO sells it, as well as, many other suppliers. Randy K.
  11. Bill_H

    Bill_H New Member

    Thank you Randy.
  12. Debbie N

    Debbie N New Member

    Mr. Kittle my son Stan also spent some time with Rick and he is only 16 and what he can do is remarkable. You have done beautiful work so I wanted to put my 2 cents in here. Welcome to the family he did tell you about the family. Well nice Crappie I'm sure your very pleased as you look!
  13. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    very nice fish. thanks for sharing the painting of it. way better than a paint schedule. thanks again
  14. sparkyf

    sparkyf New Member

    Man!!! I have been away from this section for too long!!!!!!!! What an aaawwwssooommee thread!! Just so happens I have two of these fish to do! Thanks for sharing as always Rick! Mark
  15. Thank you Debbie !!! The Taxidermy family, as well as the Anglers Artistry family ,is a great group of people. Randy
  16. what kind of foam did he carve the body from
  17. Doug , the foam was purchased from Foam Products in Minnesota. They run an ad in Breakthrough Magazine. You can also purchase the same foam from Matuska Taxidermy Supply . Randy Kittle
  18. Thanks, does it have a brand name or something I can try to find it by? It seems like a dense type of polystyerene from the pics. I liked how easy it looked to get a finished piece vs balsa. That was an excellent job on that crappie and it seems to allow more artistic freedom than ordering a body. The s-curve was perfect.
    Thanks for the reply
  19. I believe Rick said it was construction foam . I just ordered a UPS box, which was roughly $115.00,shipping included . The foam I ordered, was the gray foam . Rick said they change colors every now and then . Anyway I carved 3 fish bodies and only used about 1/2 of one block . Naturally ,the larger the fish, the more foam you will use.The box comes with 2 blocks . I also ordered the 8 inch size . It`s good stuff and like you said, you have all the freedom of pose that you want . Look at the ad in Breakthrough for Foam Products and you will see the sizes they offer. The only problem is, you have to mail them a check . They don`t take credit or debit cards. Matuska, on the other hand does accept credit cards, and their foam is the same quality . So if time is an issue, it will be faster , ordering from Matuska .
  20. Thanks, for the help. I'll get some as soon as I have time.