A Quilled Fish
Meet “Ichthy” the quilled fish. I’m not sure what kind of fish he is really, but it definitely seems like a cross between an Angelfish, a fancy goldfish, and a mandarin fish. But I guess what’s more important than labeling him, is that he’s quite gorgeous (if I don’t say so myself). In all seriousness, it’s easy to over-value my own work, but that’s okay because it’s not about the critique, it’s about the pleasure it brings to me as I’m winding up and shaping that paper! Right?
Anyways… Ichthy was a three evening project. He is 8 x 10 x 1/4″. I drew out a basic body shape for him using some reference photos I found on the internet. Then I outlined his head and torso region and began filling it in. I wanted to go for a whimsical, colorful look and I think I achieved that for the most part.
There was nothing special about the techniques I used. There were a lot of regular teardrop-shaped quills. Some tight and loose coils. I’m not sure what you call the technique I made the two bottom fins and top fin with and they’re hard to describe as well. Basically what I do to make that graduated, rainbow shape is make a stack of 6-8 strips then I pull the tips down about 1/8″ until they are all lined up, but spread downward. Then I glue them on the bottom side and a thin layer swiped over the actual sides. It kind of looks like a thin triangle when it’s done. After it’s dry I bend it around to form a loop, then use tweezers to pull each strip down into an arc shape. Essentially separating them all. Once they are all separated and spaced evenly, I snip the ends making each one progressively longer by about 1/8″, glue them like I did the other end. Then glue both ends together. Maybe some day if I can acquire a table-top tripod I’ll make a video tutorial because you can do a lot with this shape and it’s fairly easy once you get the hang of it.