View Full Version : 1/19/11 Product Info's Tip of the Week: Gyotaku

Blick Art Materials
01-19-2011, 11:00 AM
A form of nature printing, Gyotaku is the Japanese word for fish rubbing. Fishermen used to use this practice to record their catch. Now it's a popular art form amongst professionals and students alike. Cleaner, more sanitary methods have been developed by using rubber replicas of actual fish, turtles, starfish, and lizards, while still capturing the detail of the animal.

Gyotaku is easy!
Simply brush on, roll on, or otherwise apply tempera or water based block printing inks to the rubber casting then transfer to a number of surfaces (most commonly used is paper) by pressing or stamping the casting on to the surface. Experiement with color blending and enhancing the print after it's been transfered.
Note: Acrylic based paints may be used. However, keep in mind it can become permanent once dry. Additionally, oil based paints can eventually break down the rubber binder and distort the surface quality of the casting.

Is the Gyotaku process limited to paint applications?
Not at all. Try impressing the castings in soft air dry clay to work as a mold or leave as a final impression piece. Depending on the type of clay used, the clay cavity may be filled with resin to create a crystal clear casting.

-Kristal F.
Product Information Specialist

For further assistance using art supplies, feel welcome to contact our Product Information Department at
1-800-933-2542 or e-mail us at info@dickblick.com (info@dickblick.com). Hours of operation: M-F, 8:00am-5:30pm CST.