Gyotaku (gyo=fish, taku=rubbing) (pronounced gio-TA-koo) is a Japanese art form that creates an image of a fish or other object in nature with astonishing detail. Using ink or paint the image of a fish is transferred to paper or fabric. This technique may be used to print shells, seaweed, rocks, flowers, and other marine life or objects in nature.
Whether using the Direct or Indirect method preparation of the fish is the most important step to ensure you have an excellent print. The finishing touch to bring the fish alive is to paint the eye with a small brush. Prints may be completed using a variety of methods, mounted on oriental papers or canvas, stained with watercolor, or printed on again adding other fish prints/seaweed/shells to enhance the finished piece. Many nature printers sign their artwork with a chop (seal). Lori’s chop is from China and is called “Double Happiness”, and she also is a Pisces and uses a signature of two fish along with her initial “L”.
The surface of the fish is covered with ink or paint. A piece of paper or fabric is then placed over this inked surface and gently rubbed, thus transferring the raised surfaces of the scales and fins showing the fine detail. These images are always reversed by the process and cannot be controlled as well as with the “indirect method”.
Two Rock Fish
Oriental paper mounted on canvas and painted frame, 1x36x24
Printed on paper and mounted on painted canvas, 3'x4.5' - SOLD
Octopod - Grace 2
Oriental paper mounted on board, 18"x20" - SOLD
Collage of direct print Vermillion and octopus with pressed algae.
Gel Plate with algae on fabric, direct print of octopus, and mounted on wrapped canvas - SOLD
Collage of fish prints on oriental paper mounted on gallery wrapped canvas, 24" x 8".
Collage of fish prints on oriental papers mounted on gallery wrapped canvas, 16" x 12" - SOLD
Sharron's giant octopus 2010 Coos Bay Oregon. Lori printing with assistance from Nora and Ina (Sharron in background)
Printed on silk with Mineo inks
Flounder & Algae
Printed on silk, mounted on stained oriental paper.
Printed on silk and mounted on oriental paper made by Mineo
Blacktip Pup Shark
9" shark caught off Hunting Island, SC
Printed on fabric, mounted on oriental paper, on gallery wrapped canvas
Lori and Mineo - OIMB
Printing a Ling-Cod caught off the coast of Coos Bay Oregon
Rainbow colors printed on silk
Printed on fabric
Paper or fabric is dampened and pressed over the body of a fish. When dry ink is applied with a tampo (piece of cotton ball wrapped in a piece of silk), which is dipped in ink and dabbed on to the paper or fabric. Layers of ink from light to dark create a luminous effect.