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Painting a Skin Mount LMB

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Cole, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I've had several PM's asking for a paint schedule for a Largemouth, and since I don't paint from schedules, I didn't really have a good answer for them. This week, when painting a LM skin mount, I took some pics along the way. This method came from a tip I got from Gary Bruch, which I modified to fit my needs (need for speed). I hope he doesn't mind me sharing.

    First, I mix some white acrylic paint w/ my Apoxie Sculpt, and rebuild any shrunken areas, as well as set the eyes.

    This is where I stole an idea from Gary. When I paint skin mounts, I always end up with a fish that is too dark, but I was happy with the look of my replicas. In order to make a skin mount look like a antiqued replica, I use colored pencil sticks (regular colored pencil will work) and color the entire fish. This highlights the top of the scales, leaving the pockets dark, just like an antiqued replica.


    Using Poly superhide white, I tone the entire fish, losing the harshness of the colored pencil/scale pockets.


    Using LT Dark Brown thinned w/ retarder, I turn down the air pressure to about 12 lbs. and do all of the detail work, including the fins.

    Next, LT Candy Bright Yellow, heavier at the top, fading out just below the lateral line.


    LT Transparent Medium Green, thinned 50/50 w/ thinner, in the same area. Be careful, this is a powerful color so go easy.


    Poly Chocolate Brown over the same area, til you get the color you want. Also, LT Mallard Orange at the base of the pectoral and anal fins. Light mist on the tail as well.


    With poly suoperhide white, touch up any areas that need it, and hit the edges of the pectoral fins and anal fin. (My orange was a little strong on my pecs, so I toned them down a little.) Then go over the belly with LT pearl white, and darken the back with LT dark brown.

    Finally, using Pearl-X powders I tipped every scale below the static markings down the side of the fish with bright yellow fading out at the bottom, and every scale above this line w/ brilliant gold. Used several red and pink flesh tones on the soft tissue areas of the head and vent, as well as interference blue, cedar green, sunset gold, and copper on the head using reference as a guide. If you want your markings darker you can go back and highlight some of the scales with LT Black Green, but I didn't on this one. (I like them subtle)

    And after attaching to the habitat, this is what I ended up with:
    GotHonks and slabbandit like this.
  2. Sweet, Cole. That fish is very nice. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. rp

    rp Member

    Thanks for sharing, nice paintjob
  4. critterboy

    critterboy New Member

    Great job ! What color do you tip the scales with and how is it applied ? Thanks
  5. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I apply them with a small artist brush, and I apply them dry. After applying them dry you need to seal them in w/ sealer or gloss, or they can wipe right off.

  6. J. Sonner

    J. Sonner New Member

    great trick with the white pencil.
  7. K Kave

    K Kave Member

    where can you find the powders?
  8. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

  9. Nice job Cole!!!! Sweet bass & sweet tutorial!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Awesome paint job...thanks for the tutorial.
  11. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    Coles stuff is crazy good. You should see it in person.

    Thanks for the tutorial cole. I will use it for sure!!!!!!!!

    Cole is a great guy as well.

    your friend
  12. Chad See

    Chad See Certified "Fish Head"

    Very nice tutorial. Thanks!
  13. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    I appreciate what you just posted.

    Simple...and obviously with great looking LMB !

  14. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Cole, you one bad MOFO!!
  15. Schmitty

    Schmitty New Member

    Cole, what type of white pencil are these? Where do you get them? And do you do this on all the fish you do or just bass? Thanks. great tutorial.
  16. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    They are Prismacolor art sticks, but colored pencils work too, it just takes a little longer and you go through more of them. I don't order the set, I have no use for any other colors. I just use white.
  17. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Oh, and I do it to fish that dry dark. Crappies generally don't need it, but bass, trout, and sometimes even walleye dry so dark that I need to lighten them up.
  18. Schmitty

    Schmitty New Member

    Cool thanks, I am going to give it a try
  19. COLE!!!


    Thats a GREAT trick with the white highlights.
  20. Studio106

    Studio106 New Member

    You do some of the nicest, if not THE nicest fish I have seen. Absolutely beautiful!! You are a true artisan.