Create an ocean-themed print inspired by the traditional Japanese method for printing fish. Let’s make a gyotaku print.
- Light weight paper (newsprint or rice paper)
- Watercolor paint
- Paint brush and water
- An object with lots of texture (a seashell, toy fish, toy dinosaur)
Watch our video or follow the steps below.
Step 1: Select an object for your print. The more texture the better!
Step 2: Check with a parent to make sure your object can get messy.
Step 3: Place your object on a paintable surface.
Step 4: Use watercolor paint to cover your object.
Note: Be sure to get paint on all the surfaces.
Step 5: Retrieve your lightweight paper and place on top of your object.
Step 6: Gently pat the paper following the groves of your object.
Don’t rub the paper as the paint will smear.
Step 7: Remove your paper and flip over.
You’ve made a gyotaku print just like Japanese fisherman.
Don’t have a fish to paint? Try this.
Step 1: Make a shape out of interconnecting blocks. Be sure it’s okay to paint!
Step 2: Use watercolor to paint your block design.
Step 3: Cover your creation with paper.
Step 4: Pat to transfer the color.
Step 5: Remove the paper and see your print.
Finally, display your art!
This activity is from one of our exhibitions – Underwater FantaSEA – which took place in the spring of 2016.