1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Skinmounts painted like replica

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by dktaxi, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. dktaxi

    dktaxi New Member

    10
    0
    Anyone ever paint skin mounts with replica schedule. Or paint a skin mount white first to use a replica schedule?
     
  2. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    3,773
    6
    I paint a replica like a dried skin mount, and then paint it normally.
     

  3. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Some skin mounts dry far too dark to just tint with some color. For example, most skin mount bass (smallmouth and largemouth) dry way too dark to make them look decent by just adding a bit of color. I like to get my skin mounts looking just like a replica before I start to paint. I've heard the argument before that MT is giving...make the replica look like a dead skin fish then add some color. Why would I want it looking like a dead skin fish? A live fish doesn't come close to resembling a dead one? That's why I like my dead skin fish to look like a blank canvas before I apply the vivid colors of life back into them.
     
  4. J-Jay

    J-Jay New Member

    It's a bit of a reverse for me. I start a LMB or Bluegill, redear, etc by antiquing it to give the scales a bit of gray detail. On those skin mounts I spray with white to tone the very dark skin to a gray. To answer the question, it isn't about using a schedule as much as it is about layering the right colors to achieve the look of the reference photos. So yes, I have used "reproduction" colors for skin mounts because they both have the same gray and white canvas to begin with. Hope it helps.
     
  5. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    1,124
    4
    I try to paint my skin mounts and reproductions to look like live fish!
     
  6. J-Jay

    J-Jay New Member

    Well now I would hope so. They look so much healthier than dead ones.
     
  7.  
  8. roundyracer

    roundyracer been to the mountain and seen the elephant.usmc 68

    406
    1
    I've always used schedule's as a basic start if unsure or just plain having a dumb attack.Reference is the better world I believe.I agree on lighting my skin mounts when they dry dark.Seems some preservatives like borax additives darkens more so than the suppliers mix.I either add white or grey for most of my blanks as a starter.I guess you could acusee me of going by the schedule,but I think the Breakthrough Manuel advises the same.What the hay ever try painting a car without primer?
     
  9. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Color is the end result of what you see how it gets there is up to you! Painting is just that it is painting In some cases a skin drys in such a way that the "canvas color" of the initial starting pint doesn't lend it self to a desirable place to start so you must correct the can as color before you start. The reproduction in many case begins white thus a canvas that allows you to take in many directions with color or technique. So I would add that for skins I treat many of them like painting reproduction it juts depends on what I'm painting and how it dried!

    I hope this helped a little !

    Rick krane
     
  10. den007

    den007 Active Member

    3,467
    15
    I am with Cole in that, many skin mounts if not most, must be lightened before adding color. Did an article in Breakthrough on this years back. It was "tinters" vs "painters." I would not think of starting a painting on a dark canvas......unless it was a blacklight poster or one of those velvety Elvis portraits you see now and then hawked by roadsides.
    Since white reflects all colors, a white background gives a true picture of the color pigment in the paint, especially if you layer on thin, transparent layers. As Gary Bruch put it.....it makes the colors "pop." Painting replicas with a white background as a blank canvas.....then highlighting the scales by "antiquing" will give a better fish. I hae seen way too many feeble attempts to "tint" a dark fish that turned out blah. Yes, light passes through the paint, bounces off the white, and comes back through. If you are not taking advantage of this, you are missing out as far as making your paint job as good as it can be.
     
  11. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    What's a paint schedule? LOL!

    I like J-Jay's answer. The true masters are the ones that know when they can use the underlying markings and add just enough paint to utilize those markings. And then they also know when to lighten a skin mount using various methods and recreate those markings (I like to use silver or gold pearl to lighten and even-out fish skins depending on the specie and the application. Rarely, do I totally white-out a skin mount unless it's a total repaint). My thoughts are why not use what nature provided IF those markings are already there? After all, with some species it is very, very difficult to pull off a total white-out or paint a replica as convincing as it is to utilize those natural markings a nicely dried skin mount can have. A walleye for example. Those subtle markings especially in the lower mid-section on down to the belly are next to impossible to pull off as well as Mother Nature did. I've yet to see anybody (and I mean anybody) do it as well as nature provided. So, when lucky enough to have a lightly dried fish (walleyes almost always dry plenty light enough), I use Mother Nature AMAP. As J-Jay said, you do whatever you have to do - and that usually means deviating from any "paint schedule" to achieve your desired results. You have to be flexible here if you're going to enhance any of the natural markings because of the fact the canvas is never the same color. But, with some species I think obliterating those natural markings is a huge mistake. JMO of course - lol!
     
  12. J-Jay

    J-Jay New Member

    That has to be the best way I have ever heard it described. No doubt true as so many of these extremely talented fish heads in here get end results that make you go "DAMN" and most of them got there a using a different path.
     
  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I missed that and read right past it! (I guess that Evelyn Wood Speed Reading class was a waste of money - lol!) That IS well put Rick!
     
  14. den007

    den007 Active Member

    3,467
    15
    True as Marty said. Walleye markings and some others are notoriously difficult to pull of on a replica. I do agree that, if they are there, no.....don't cover them. However, some fish are notorious for drying dark.....with few if any visible markings that are going to help. I some cases, I lighten just enough to see some of the markings show through, and then accentuate them with an airbrush dialed to reproduce very fine detail. Then, the transparents can come out to work towards the finish.
     
  15. roundyracer

    roundyracer been to the mountain and seen the elephant.usmc 68

    406
    1
    I always learn something here but getting overridden about schedules kinda makes me wonder if all takes a different path then I reckon DVD's and Manuel's is out.I sure cant nor do I claim to be as good as most here.Here is a problem I have though.Ive always tried to tone instead of paint.Is this politically correct ?
     
  16. dktaxi

    dktaxi New Member

    10
    0
    Thanks for posting. Everybodys answers helped me out.
     
  17. den007

    den007 Active Member

    3,467
    15
    Politicians are never correct.................do what ya gotta do! Dark grey-brown dry bluegill? Don't try to "tone" it. Crappie that dries nice and light, don't white it out! A good understanding of light, the color wheel, reflection and refraction will help out plenty. I also searched out color schedules when first starting out. Now, I can look at a fish and figure it out. I will contend painting on a blank slate (replica) will make you a better overall painter.
     
  18. Harum

    Harum Active Member

    Den,

    Although White is indeed the reflection of all the colors, you will attain a higher saturation of color (what you are calling the color pigment in paint) when painting over black. With a good understanding of Light, reflection, refraction and color concepts you shouldn't have any difficulty comprehending why.


    dktaxi,

    Replica or skin mount I start with a neutral brown or neutral gray on the upper third and white to off white for the lower two thirds. This is not a set rule for me but I find it to be a good base to add my colors. Depending on your desired end result it is beneficial to start with a dark base or a light base. If you are at a loss, paint schedules will give you a good idea of how some colors play off each other and can be useful. Use that learning to aid in duplicating what you see in your references.
    As far as whiting out your skin mount or tinting in colors. In my opinion both are unique in their own way. I rather like a tinted skin mount as that is what I recall being fascinated with, as a boy, when I would see mounts on the wall or those shellacked toads that came out of Mexico. Dead, yes but cool never the less. I however have always been a realist with my artwork and therefore cover those markings and only use the scale details to aid in my painting. I feel I can achieve more realism that way.

    -Pete
     
  19. roundyracer

    roundyracer been to the mountain and seen the elephant.usmc 68

    406
    1
    Im confused for sure doing what I gotta do.See Rhineharts article in this months Taxidermy Today.