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Black Crappie Paint Colors To Purchase?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Brad Hendrickson, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    First i want to say, I'm not asking for a paint schedule or techniques.
    The information on this site is UNREAL.. I have seen some posts with certain paint colors recommended. But before I go and purchase Unnecessary paint, I thought i would take a poll.. I understand I need to use reference photos.. But I'm just looking for some ideas on dominant colors for a Black Crappie..

    Here is what I currently have.
    LT Candy Dark Green
    LT Candy Light Green
    LT Candy Neon Yellow (i think its candy)
    LT Candy Golden Yellow
    WW Candy Kranes Grey
    Createx Opaque Black
    I have Compressed Powered Charcoal and vine charcoal.
    I have 32 Pearl Ex powders.

    I think I need a Pearl of some sort, White, Silver, Chrome, Golden
    I think I need a WHITE.
    I think I need some other kind of YELLOW
    And Maybe a Black Green?

    Any paint choosing tips would be greatly appreciated..
    Thanks in advance
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    We all can have a different color pattern for a fish. It’s the artist that makes the color work.
    I can give you what I use and it’ll never look what I’ve painted. I hear this a lot on one of my trout schedule.
    You look at the fish and say I need this and that. That’s the colors you need. I can make green with yellow and black etc.
    trans yellow will go from light yellow to a brown yellow. Layering colors will make different colors.
    Yes metallic paints both dry and wet will aid you in fish painting.
    Get yourself a color wheel and this will aid you in mixing colors and what will help you in seeing different colors and mixing them
    FishArt and Brad Hendrickson like this.

  3. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    I use white, silver and gold pearls on a crappie.
    You will definitely need a white paint for most any fish.
    Looks like you have the rest of the colors pretty well covered.
    jigginjim and Brad Hendrickson like this.
  4. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    Little daps of pearl-ex powders to give the blue/green/purple high lights on the upper back. Worked great on my crappies customers love it.
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Lots of good advice, but Frank makes a very good point. Even with a paint schedule, (especially one with many colors) the end result can be much different from individual to individual. And there's even variances within my own work too. It is just a general guide. Learn how to see and mix colors and you will be light years ahead of the game and not have to rely on paint schedules. Or relying on some colors for that matter! Mix your own! When I first started out I got a little crazy and ordered a few more bottles than were necessary. 25 years later I still have some of those paint bottles! These days I oftentimes don't even re-order certain colors once they're used up because I tend to custom mix every color to whatever I see in my reference photos.

    Looking at your paint choices I'm not familiar with the LT Candies, but their HM Candies are actually dyes and very watery. I liked them early on, but rarely use them anymore due to runs. But, the Lacquer version may be better. Transparent Amber Oxide is almost a necessity IMO as is Yellow Ochre. Some colors close to Primaries a necessity as then you'll never be stuck on a color you need to make. Certainly White. Buy some clear coat so you can mix your powders in and now you don't need to buy mixed metallics. Gill Red a necessity for your gills and (again) a Primary color/necessity and now you can make your own browns.

    Tip: When mixing paints go very easy on the darker color. Drops at a time. Otherwise you'll end up wasting a lot of paint. Then practice, practice, practice! And document what you learn as you're painting to develop your own "paint schedule" for future reference. And don't waste your money on the Black-Green. That's an easy mix! Good luck!
  6. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    Awesome advice. Thanks!!!!
  7. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    What kind of clear do you recommend for mixing my pearl powders with?
  8. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Brad, well it depends on if you go with all Lacquers you're going to need to need a lacquer based clear. I think others (that use Lacquers) can offer up some better recommendations than I as I pretty much use only WB paints. I believe LT sells their "Basecoat Sealer" like they do in their Hydromist (WB) form. But, again there might be some better lacquer clears that I don't know about.

    PS I did possibly forget one thing. What air brush do you have? Running powders in gloss thru your airbrush requires an open tip like the #3 or #5 Paasche tips. Some (many?) other higher end air brushes may not be able to handle pushing the metallic or mica flakes thru your airbrush. Flakes too big...
  9. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    I have a 25 dollar Chinese airbrush..which seems I'm CONSTANTLY trying to clean... I need to learn to thin my paints and retard them... I'm on a huge learning curve and I havent even left the starting blocks yet! lol
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Brad - you need to get a cheap Paasche! Dependable workhorses and you don't have to clean them all the time. On average I paint maybe 10-15 fish w/o having to pull my air brush apart and clean the tips! There's NO WAY I could ever deal with having to clean my airbrush all the time. Most of the higher end airbrushes have to be cleaned often too!
    3bears likes this.
  11. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    I think i agree... and then maybe get a better one for JUST detail work? cuz I for the life of me CANNOT make the crappie markings look good with charcoal or artist brush... I mean they look Great when standing at a distance , but UP CLOSE.. NO WAY..
    FishArt likes this.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Brad, when I look at the markings on crappies, they appear to be at different depths and I replicate them that way. I lay them down pretty harsh at first and then layer my other colors over them going back and hitting some of them with chalk or black paint again throughout my painting process.
  13. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    yup I AGREE.. And I dont think I've really done that.. Definatley some are darker than others.. some almost look like just a shading or graphite, while others look like DARK black.. I just cant get the spots to LOOK Natural.. practice practice practice...

    I think my wife thinks I have another woman in the garage.. LOL
  14. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    and compressed powder charcoal... wow... theres nothing on the counter honey.. hit it with a wipe.. BAM ALL BLACK.... it gets EVERYWHERE
  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Lol, I'm just the opposite! I don't own a high end, detail air brush. I do much of my details with other methods. I can't pull off the crappie markings with my airbrush. Maybe a better one? I dunno. For me, I've found that I'm more comfortable not using the air brush for details. So why fight it? 75% plus of my fish these days are painted using other methods vs an air brush. In fact, Amy Hall - who works under my brand in Michigan hand paints (and other methods) every fish. She doesn't even own an airbrush! Check out her work on my website and you'll see there are many different ways to skin a cat and still get great results!
  16. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

    Ohhh Yeah.. I'd love to use an AIRBRUSH VERY LITTLE... I guess I should research some GOOD brushes and techniques
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Black, Off-White, Chrome Pearlescent, Gold Pearl, Gill Red, Bright Yellow, Sailfish Blue, Retarder. Stopped using candy colors as as far as I'm concerned they are watered down colors. I've had them dissipate after applying a clear coat. There are some interesting shimmers like purple shimmers, but I don't get too carried away on commercial work as I prefer to make money.

    Most common mistake neophytes make with crappies is over painting. And if you are lucky enough to have the markings retained on a skin mount enhance them -- don't over paint them!

    slabbandit and Brad Hendrickson like this.