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Fish Character

April 15, 2016

Fish have distinct body parts that are captured with printmaking. Scales, eye, mouth, fins, tail and operculum (gill cover). The nice thing about taking a copy of the original is the ability to add and subtract from the image, increasing the fishy character. Below is the starting copy before adding lots of additional stippling with a micron pen.


Now with the changes. I added a bit more definition to the lower fish’s eye, mouth, fins, dorsal ridge, and a few other places. The upper tail received a bit more umph. I don’t want to get terribly crazy with additions. There’s a nice quality to the original image.



I’ll be continuing to shift and alter the copy until it feels done. Then more copies will be created so the lithography process can begin. With 8 clay forms waiting, there should be plenty of practice to be had. It’s still uncertain how this image will actually work via the method. The video I watched talked about achieving good value changes, but I won’t know until after firing.

I can already think of one or two family members who might like to have an additional fishy artwork added to their home. (That would be Tim and Cecil, but don’t spoil the surprise!) It’s doubtful that they actually catch and eat Bluegill, but ya never know. If this process works, I might have a new product line for Philomath Open Studio Tour, but I’m not holding my breath.



13 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria Blair permalink
    April 15, 2016 11:56 am

    Very cool! Will you wash them and release them when you are done? Hahahaha!

    • April 15, 2016 12:32 pm

      Well, of course! Actually they were washed before printing and released into the wilds to feed others. Probably without ink… I really don’t remember. 😉

  2. April 15, 2016 4:16 pm

    Great touch up job, looking forward to learning about the printing process. Although people have tried to explain litho printing to me it remains a mystery. Karen

    • April 15, 2016 5:41 pm

      There are some easy ways to make lithographs without the stone process. I’ll try to document it with enough detail for you to understand. Of course it’s getting pressed onto clay rather than paper and a press. 😉

  3. April 15, 2016 7:11 pm

    Ooh! Ai’d love you to document your process Gale!!! These fish will make a wonderful print for sure, just beautiful!

    • April 16, 2016 11:24 am

      Thanks Cathe! I’m down to the final round of change. Maybe by tomorrow!

  4. April 16, 2016 10:45 am

    These images are lovely. I’ve never heard of Bluegill – is it good to eat?

    • April 16, 2016 11:20 am

      Edible? Probably, but you would like it larger than 5 inches. They are a freshwater fish that can reach 12″. From further reading people do eat them, considered a pan fish. They are native to North America, but have been introduced to other countries.
      I’m getting closer to finishing up the alterations. Debating about adding additional fins…

  5. April 19, 2016 1:34 am

    I’m really interested to see your lithographic process – I used to use something called Lithosketch, where you could draw with almost anything onto a specially prepared card, then wipe it with a solution, ink it with a roller and print. So easy and really effective, but it is no longer produced. I still have a few pieces of the card, and the solution, but they may have gone off by now. Love the textures of the fish, I’m looking forward to the outcome!

    • April 19, 2016 5:01 pm

      Lithosketch sounds interesting! Have you tried the polyester plate lithography?
      Yes, eventually, like tomorrow, I’ll finally get out and make xerox copies. My brain is going in too many directions today!

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