Apply-Paint 1-
The fish is washed with detergent to remove the slim and dried so there is no moisture. Paint is applied with a brush or tampo (foam rubber attached to a cork with tape).
sample 3
Paper is draped over the fish and rubbed with your hands to get the the transfer to the paper while the paint is wet.
I use a spoon to get the bones on the fins.
sample print 2
The paper is removed from the fish very carefully and left to dry.You can go back and apply more paint to the fish for more prints.
sample 1
Since the eye or any other distinguishing marks will not tranfer on to the paper it is painted in by hand, now the fish comes alive.

“Gyotaku is a natural form of expression for me because I am able to unite my two passions – art and marine life.”

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Ken Dara has been a graphic designer and has operated his own successful business for over 40 years, first in New Jersey and now in Florida. He moved near the coast of Florida and the purchase of a boat provided him the opportunity to be on the water and connect to its natural beauty and wildlife. Fishing furthers his experience by providing sustenance as he enjoys preparing the catch for family and friends.

Ken first learned of Gyotaku from other artists and was inspired by their work. At the present time, he researches and works with the traditional methods of printmaking, as well experiments with various inks, paints, papers and digital enhancement to develop his unique style.

“Each print is exciting as it offers me a connection to the experience, the sea and the fish.”

Being a member of The Nature Print Society has given me the opportunity to study with some of the best Gyotaku artists in the US and Japan.

Thanks for taking the time to explore my website.

Mineo & Ken

Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto and Ken Dara

What is Gyotaku or fish printing?

Started by Samural Warriors in northern Japan during the Tokugawa era (1800-1868)

Feudal Lords demanded that their warriors should be skilled in judo, swordmanship and fishing, ideal Samural excelled not only in the military arts, but also in the fine arts.

Fisherman may stretch the truth, but fish prints never lie!

In Japan, many fishing contest are dedicated to Gyotaku prints, because photographs do not always express the true size and detail of the fish.

Not only do the results represent a beautiful art form, but they are fun and exciting to make.