Gyotaku is Japanese for 'fish rubbing'. It is a simple and inexpensive yet beautiful project that can be used in place of taxidermy. It is a great way to memorialize special catches such as a child's first fish, a specific fishing trip, or even unique species of fish. It can also be performed several times in order to share the event with others.

Materials needed include the fish, paint, flexible paper or canvas, paper towels, and newspaper.

Step 1: Dry the fish completely.

Step 2: With the fish resting on a piece of newspaper, rub or brush the paint onto the body of the fish. Any type of art paint can be used and can be of any type such as acrylic, oil based or water based.

Step 3: Take the flexible paper and place on the fish. Gently rub the paper over the fish, stretching the paper around the contours of the fish. Be sure to rub the fins several times in order to get the detail of the fish.

 

And lastly, frame and hang. If you make a mistake or the paper slides on the fish, simply take another sheet of paper and re-do. There is no limit to the number of prints you can make.