Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gyotaku Prints

At one time Japanese fisherman would make prints of their fish so that they could have a record of prized catches. These prints were made by pressing rice paper onto a fish that had been covered in ink. Making fish prints with children is a simple introduction to printmaking. You can use a fresh fish or you can purchase rubber replicas from art supply stores. The poor perch that I have pictured is missing a fin, but you'll get the idea. I've found that tempera paints work well and if you give the child 2 or 3 colors the prints will have a more dimensional quality. In the print pictured I used blue, yellow and some gold paint with sparkles, and printed it on a piece of canvas. You can use rice paper, newsprint or even paper towels.

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