Friday, February 10, 2012

Rainbow Trout And Flies

Rainbow Trout On Parchment

While wondering through the art store the other day I drifted, as I often do, over to the paints and paper section while my wife got lost in the isles of yarn.  Those that know me well know that I'm always looking to try something new and push the limits of my abilities.  Sometimes I succeed and often I fail but in this case, I'd say that I came out on top.
   While working with watercolor and gouache paints It is always advisable to use a heavy weight paper.  This is basically rule number one. This rule is made because when working in any medium that requires water, one needs a paper that will allow for a lot of absorption while retaining its flat structure.  This is why artisits typically do not paint on  thin papers, like typing paper or in this case, parchment.
  Well I decided to bend the rules a bit and see how well I could lay watercolors down on a piece of parchment.  The results speak for themselves.
I also discovered that working on such thin and smooth material requires a quick brush and light touch.
    Yes, it is difficult to paint on parchment but not impossible.  In fact,  if I ever wrote a book on art I would have to include parchment as a viable material to experiment on.   (Of course I would never write an art book since I am about as schooled in art and art theory as I am as I am in field stripping a M16, which is to say none.)  The smooth, 100% acid free, surface does require special techniques and the thin paper is an issue but the end result is a thing of beauty.  I especially like the rich colors of the paper as they set off the hues of the fish and show through the painting in a what that the basic white paper does not.   In short I believe that for painting fish, this paper adds dimension to the true colors of the paint and reflects that of an actual trout.  I also believe that this theory will lend itself well to other species like birds.

Rainbow Trout On Parchment
13 in. X 5 in.
Watercolor Gouache On Parchment
For Sale

Midges Wrapped In Stretch Majic
Now on to the flies, midges, and all around fishy stuff.  Also while at the a-for mentioned art store, I browsed the beads and feathers for un-orthodox fly tying material.  I figured that I have already broken the rules as far as painting goes, why not bend them for fly tying as well.
    What I found was a few bags of colorful glass beads and a new type of body material.  I am curtain that I am not the first to discover it but the discovery of this interesting material was new to me so I thought that I would share it with the fly tying public.
   As far as adding this to your arsenal of tying material, this is a easy one and cheap.  32 feet of Stretch Magic (originally used for making bracelets and necklaces) for $2.47.  It comes in three sizes but the best I have found for tying fly bodies and covering midges is the .5 and the .7 diameter.  Tie it on just like you would any body covering and wrap it forward.  It will give your midges an added shine and body as well as increasing the segmentation look.   It also makes them a bit softer for the fish when they are in the mood to test their food before really taking it, giving you that split second you might need before the hook set.
    Like I said, I am sure I am not the first to find this product but I thought I would share it with you just in case there are a few of you out there just as out of touch as I am.  Enjoy.
Segmented Olive Sakasa Kebari Variant


Brk Trt said...

Nice painting of the rainbow.
The rainbow comes in a close second to my beloved brook trout. And his beauty is only surpassed by his fighting abilities.
Great flies, and thanks for the craft store savings.

Scott said...

Nice! I like the" bending the rules " part. Accepted techniques deserve respect but innovation is cool too. The results totally speak for themselves. The discovery of " quick brush and light touch" was interesting. I really enjoy the photos of your flies.There's a lightness and naturalness. Great post!

MarkW said...

Thanks for the tip - I'll have to look for it in the craft store and I'm always partial to watercolors - Nice job

Mark Kautz said...

Others may have found Stretch Magic, but if no says anything, we'll never know about it. Thanks for the shout out. I'll have my sewing (and baking) wife see if she can find it during her Internet travels.


Unknown said...

Brktrt - who doesn't love the rainbow trout? To be honest I have only painted a bow a few times but this one is currently my favorite. That might change when I eventually paint another.

Herringbone - rules are ment to be broken right? Just don't tell my kids that.

Mark. - You will find it next to the glass bead isle. You might have to sneak in there because the ladies give you an odd look when your snooping in an isle dedicated to making very girly bracelets and necklaces.

Superman - that ain't a bad idea. Always good stuff on the internet. You might even be able to find it cheaper.

TexWisGirl said...

your painting on parchment really is beautiful! neat!

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

I really like the painting on parchment paper , the colors in the paper give it a different look that is very appealing.

Unknown said...

Shoreman - for the record, my spell check now recognizes you as superman, sorry for accidentally revealing your True identity.

TexWis - thank for the compliment

HighPD - it sure does add something a bit more to the painting. Sometimes it pays off to experiment.

Sanders said...

Beautiful rainbow! It's fun watching these fish come to life through your work.


Anonymous said...

Being that the Rainbow Trout is my favorite fish to chase, I am really impressed with your work on this one. Of course, that is not new. All of your work is great! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Jak zwykle. Coś pięknego !! Nie mogę się nadziwić Twoim rysunkom !

Darren MacEachern said...

Wicked job on the trout Joel. I've used that stretch magic on chironomids and have some great results. There are a few other colors I found, in particular a red for bloodworms and blue for fun. Nice job

cofisher said...

Once again you amaze me with your artist abilities. Good job!

Unknown said...

Sanders - thanks for the compliment!

Mel - sure glad you like it. I believe it is the first rainbow I've done that I don't step back from and wish I did something different while painting it.

Tomek o - thanks for the visit. I have no idea what you said but I'm going to guess it was a compliment. If it wasn't then please no-one interpret it for me. I like to live under delusions.

Darren - thanks. At the FFS in N.C. this weekend I found a few experts that have also used it so I guess its not a real big secret. It works great and I can't wait to continue to experiment with it.

Howard - thanks so much but be careful, to much praise from people like you and I might actual believe I'm good. Then you know what happens...... That's right, my painting prices become unaffordable. No one wants that so for now ill believe that your just easily impressed.

Anonymous said...

As usual. Something beautiful! I can not get over your drawings! .......... It was written before!

Unknown said...

Tomek - thanks, Im glad that my brothers overseas have somehow found my blog and appreciate what this American paints.

Jim Yaussy Albright said...

Beautiful work. Really liked these.

Bigerrfish said...

your midges look great Joel!