painted with black sumi ink and covered
with rice paper, which was carefully pressed
down and removed to produce an exact-size replica of the fish. Once the print was
completed, the fish could be washed and
prepared for market or a meal. By using this
technique, fishermen could both record and
eat their catch. Today, fish prints are so accurate that certain Japanese fishing-tournament
winners are determined by gyotaku prints.
Here’s how to do it yourself. First, assemble
■ Sumi ink, india ink, or acrylic
■ Plain T-shirt or piece of plain fabric (or
rice paper or mulberry paper, Caryn’s
favorite. She carries rolls of mulberry paper
on board, specifically for gyotaku. It’s easy
Fig. 3 Ensure the entire painted-fish
surface prints on the material.
Fig. 4 Remove material once you’ve
finished pressing the entire fish. Voila!
Fig. 5 i added color to these dorados
after printing them first in black.
to work with and makes lovely prints.)
■ Paintbrushes, different sizes
■ Paper towels and/or newspapers
■ Containers for paint and water
Next, wash the fish using a sponge and
water. Table salt, lemon juice, or even rub-
bing alcohol can be used to help remove
slime from the fish body. Dry thoroughly