Large Mouth Bass

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April 28, 2014 by Art of the Angle


       “Up this morning  Before the sun
Fixed me some coffee and a honey bun
Jumped in my pickup  gave her the gas
I’m goin’ out to catch a five pound bass”



As one of my close friends would say of Robert Earl Keen, author of the above lyrics; …”why, that man is a goddam music writen’ genius”.

Just thought it a fitting intro to this project.  It’s funny though, this project almost got “shelved” because I didn’t think it was going to turn out as I had envisioned.  I do that a lot it seems, but I digress…

The Large Mouth project taught me a lot about patience, seeing something through to the end.  I have a tendency to quickly doubt my vision early on in a project, but this one helped me over that.  In the end, there was a grateful customer and that is what should always be the goal.

20140119_122123For this project, I experimented with a new medium and added life-like scaling to the fish.  I was happy with the result but also learned that with scales, the finish had to be applied a little differently.

20140119_204538Once I finished the sanding and positioned the eye, the first of three coats of primer was added.  Between each coat, steel wool is used to remove brush strokes.

After the final primer and steel wool, the base colors are added to the fish.  This is when the fun begins.  The detail starts to show and slowly the fish emerges!  I should mention here that after the last of many coats of base color are added, I use a light, super secret technique to add life to the scales.  it is undetectable until the clear coat is applied.

20140119_215440Now the real fun begins!  At this point, I start adding detail to the fish by using very dark colors that are watered down and runny.  By doing this, it allows the detail to flow naturally just as it does in nature.

20140119_223828After all the detail is painted in, I add a thin coat of cleat coat to the fish.  Once the clear coat is dry, I go back over the detail markings again.  I will repeat this process several times to achieve the life like effect I am trying to get.  Also, the super secret technique appears and the fish is about ready to be mounted.


           20140121_200536   20140122_230743

As you can see in the very first picture of this post, the Bass has a lure hanging from it’s mouth.  I wanted to add a little nostalgia to this piece as the recipient was a life long bass master.  The lure I chose to add was a Heddon plug, Lucky 13.  I hand carved and painted it to look as authentic as possible.

In the end, I was extremely satisfied with the project that almost got shelved.  The customer loved the piece and proudly displays it in his office.  So I hope you enjoyed this addition.  If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Until next time visit me at my new website:

Tight Lines!

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