Fish Activities

Fish Prints

Fish Prints
Fish Prints

"Gyotaku" -- or fish printing -- is a well-respected form of art in Japan. Make your own beautiful fish prints using real fish.

What You'll Need:

  • Thin paper (real rice paper is best, but newsprint will work)
  • Fish with heavy scales
  • Pan
  • Brush
  • Water-based ink or tempura paint

How to Create Fish Prints:

Step 1: Purchase special inks and rice paper for your prints, or simply use newsprint and paint.

Step 2: Select a fish with large scales for the best prints. Lay it in a pan, and wipe it clean.

Step 3: Using a brush, cover the fish with a very thin coat of water-based ink or paint. You can make the whole fish one color, or use different colors on the fins, make stripes -- or whatever you like.

Step 4: Lay the paper on top of the fish. Gently press the paper onto the fish, using your fingers to shape it around the curves of the fish's body.

Step 5: Slowly peel back the paper and look at your print. Try printing again without adding more ink. Sometimes the second print is better. You can make fishy T-shirts and bandannas if you use fabric paint instead of ink or tempera paint.

Keep reading to learn how to get hooked with a creative new fishing game.

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