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Spots On Trout

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Pikeonthefly, Nov 7, 2021.

  1. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    I'm wondering what the best process is for painting the spots on trout. I tried marking them with a sharpie once I'm satisfied with the finished product and they look fake. So I bought a tiny brush and painted them and they looked better but pretty much the same. I've tried airbrushing them and I was able to stay within the natural lines but they looked a little blurry. Is it best to paint them first and then apply the rest of the colors over them? I've kept my colors pretty thin, just enough to bring back the natural colors and let them show through and they look ok but I'm not happy with the results. If these spots were actually round they may look ok but the Cutthroat I am working on has crooked lines and X shapes for lack of a better description. Any suggestion's would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    Try pan pastel. They make lots of different colors. I usually use a airbrush but I have done them in pan pastel layers and had nice results.
     
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  3. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    Detail Airbrush and a steady hand. Also if you look closely at a trouts spots they are not crisp along the edges.
    5CC4BD1F-46D5-45AB-8010-B1F9D6A69B25.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    If your looking for better detail than you’re going to have to learn your paint plus have a 2mm gravity feed airbrush.
    First learn to thin your paint with whatever thinner is needed for your paint.
    Next is air pressure. Depending on your mix folks use from 5-33 psi to do spots . Personally I’m @ 33psi it know others @ 10-15 psi.
    Then with your airbrush take the cone off and get like 1/2” away from your work or closer and then do your details.
    This doesn’t happen overnight but with a lot of practice you’ll be able to master the airbrush.
     
  5. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    Wow thank you for your response guys! Coming from the best in the business really means a lot and I appreciate your helping me out! Just a few questions. Lance you mention using pastels in layers. Do you cover them and then apply a color of paint and then coat them again etc? Mudbat. Thank you for the pictures. Maybe you can help clear up a myth?? My instructor told me that the spots on trout are usually round or oblong but when the skin dries they look like X's. He said he sees a lot of mistakes made by taxidermists as they make the spots on the fish look like X's rather than putting them back as they originally where. Frank. Thank you for the details! Can you tell me if you are using laquer or water based paint? I use water base and when it comes to the darker colors I really have a hard time getting them thin enough and I can usually get 2 to 3 spots and the 4th one splatters. Once again thank you all!
     
    Lance.G likes this.
  6. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    You can layer them by using different shades of dark brown. Start light, seal, then darker in the middle of the spot creating a softer edge. For brown trout you can lay your browns over your reds.
     
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  7. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    If you are having trouble with water base in your airbrush you need to try a bottle of createx with there 4011 reducer. It’s great stuff. I haven’t cleaned my airbrush in a year with zero issues.
     
    Pikeonthefly likes this.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    As Lance stated you need a retarder for your paint yo slow the tip drying down. Now the drawback using retarder is never gloss your fish that day. Wait a day or two to let the retarder dry out! Otherwise it’ll Dissolve your your paint and you’ll loose all that work.
    As for your teacher stating that fish don’t have X-Y spots is wrong. Now correct in the way that once they go into the spawning Phase then those X-Y s do become more prevalent as oblong dots cause the scales are being engulfed by the fat their obtaining and morphing at this time. So you take a spring run trout you’ll see the x-y there so I paint according to the season of the fish.
    plus I’ve changed to lacquer base paints which is way easier to deal with Screenshot 2021-11-09 at 9.42.21 AM.png
     

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  9. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    One thing I’ve learned when it comes to fish is never say never!
    I’ve seen browns with enough spots to give you carpal tunnel and rainbows with zero spots.
    Most of the shapes you see in spotting is just a series of spots close together. Butttttt it would be a waste of time to paint them one little spot at a time so just make the shape and call it good.
    Frank gets all giddy when he sees a rainbow like this
    45C49323-0B4B-4241-88AE-E64B2BCC2ABD.jpeg
     
  10. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Mudbat lol you know my style way to well !! It’s so true
     
  11. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    Gross!!
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  12. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    Thanks again everyone! I have a lot of options now and I'll try everyone of them!
     
  13. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Odd I've never had that problem. I routinely use retarder with my Lifetone lacquer Dark Green for lateral line spots on a largemouth bass. Just finished five of them with no issues. I'm using lacquer and an automotive clear coat with two flash coats, and two heavy coats. Maybe you're using a water base paint vs. myself a lacquer?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  14. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had that exact thing happen with thinned burnt umber from polytranspar. Lacquer
     
  15. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I remember having a burnt sienna run on me, but I think I was using water base at the time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  16. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

     
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  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Frank what are you using for a clear coat?
     
  18. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    Yes I use water base. When I painted spots on a brown I had great success with sienna and then when I used the burnt umber it started clogging. Its odd. It seems like every color I use flows pretty well. Even the metallics and shimmers. When I'm using black it flows back into the airbrush. Next thing you know it is coming out where the push button lever comes out the top and then I have a huge sticky mess. The trout I have been playing with are small. About 18 to 20 inches so their spots are kind of small.
     
    Mudbat likes this.
  19. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    For water base the industry suppliers polytranspar, life tone, etc offer a pretty crappy product. Also annoying is colors vary bottle to bottle.
    Look at goldens and those higher end paints if you are using water base. They are far superior in quality.
     
    Cecil likes this.
  20. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

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    It’s not going to mater what gloss you use the fact will remain. I’ve shot two part auto and rattle can auto any one of them will do what frank is referring to.