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Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Brad Hendrickson, Feb 10, 2020.
Driving me nuts... just venting..
Step back and break it down into different steps or layers. Here's a snap shot of how I paint most fish, I start by blending any repair or apoxied areas to match the dried skin around it. I then lay down the light or white shade on the lower part of the fish fading up as I go, next with a crappie it is the pearls on the side next the darker shades on the upper part I don't want the dark too dark yet just setting the tone if you will. I then lay down the markings using vine chalk and then when happy seal them in, again I am not looking to achieve the exact shape size and intensity of the markings just yet. Just making a template. I then will go back over them with the pearls and other colors to match your reference and then hit the some of the markings again with either thinned, retarded black and lower air pressure or chalk and sometimes both. Then it is on to shading the upper part to the value needed to match your reference and then the it is the iridecent scale tipping. On a replica crappie the hardest part for many is getting the fin spots to look natural. There are multiple ways to accomplish that, do some digging here on this site and you may find a way that works for you.
I Didn’t mind my fins, it’s the damn black marking. They look soooo UNnatrual. I’ve tried vine, powdered, artist brush.. when I think it looks pretty good and I get to the end. I think it looks like shit. These are replicas. Btw. My head and gills look good but it’s the body. Just gonna keep plugging away. Here’s a pic of my lower head/body Which I was happy with.
Here’s the one I was trying to match
If you ask me it looks like you may have rubbed off too much of your antiquing. When I compare the 2 pics, the first 1 I see the back edge of scales stand out unlike the second pic, thus causing the spots to look unnatural. On the first pic the spots are separated and the second they appear to run together.
yeah.. I see that.. Maybe I'll try LESS take off... but i'm worried then I'll have TOO much black over the scales.. Its almost like I need to RUB off individual scales with an eraser made of steel wool or whatever will work....maybe I'll try that.. An erase head I'll have MORE control of what I want GONE and NOT gone..
Now you're thinking outside of the box, sometimes that is what it takes to achieve realistic looking results.
For the spots I typically use charcoal or I sometimes hand paint with a brush depending on my reference and how harsh or soft the markings are. Then, in the head/cheek area there's typically just thinner black lines at the back of the scales. Easy/peasy with a charcoal pencil or I also like the Derwent Inktense Water Color Pencils for those thin black/gray lines. Also, you can dip the tips of these pencils and do harsher edges spots as well. Many ways yo do those spots but I never do them with my airbrush. But, then again I don't even have a higher end air brush - lol!
PS I think your markings match your ref pic quite well in the body. In the head you lost it just a bit - altho it's not too far off your reference. That fish had a lot of thick, black markings in the head. Harder to pull off naturally vs the typ thin lines.
Don’t biotch about you markings body looks fine
Heads a bit over done
Need a little metallics in some scales
In my opinion
How many fish you done so far?
Looks like a spawner black to me. I like it.
This is prolly number 6 or 7 of working on Repro crappie colors and techniques.. Otherwise Nothing really.. repainted a couple skinned perch and a brooktrout...
Yup, I kept 5 last year for molding and practice ect ect.. I had one where the head was literally all BLACK!
Looks good to me! What colors do you use as vase colors on the sides of the crappie? I like the silver/gold look! I’ve had trouble getting that color on skin mounts!
Stop your complaining
Work on reference reference reference
Break each scales down and try that route
On a skin mount crappie, after dry and cleaned up. Take a black sharpie and cover every dot on the fish. Then when you paint the dots will bleed through and you have the exact dots as they were. I read that somewhere and it works great.
Don’t ever use a sharpie please as that will turn purple in time and it looks way way fake looking.
Remember this the markings are under the scale ( the scale acts like a prism ) so get some marking in, layer some paint and metallics, repaint then finish with metallics etc. it’ll soften them up.
For those who like sharpies , try paint pens instead. There’s a variety out there that are better off being used for taxidermy than pens that will turn on you. There much better and come in a variety of sizes
I used a sharpie a few weeks back on the back side of a crappie and when I hit it with sealer it turned purple. Glad it didn't do it on the front