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First mount, please critique! Lots of photos!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by kalira, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. kalira

    kalira New Member

    Photos are here: http://imgur.com/a/CxwFx

    Almost finished. Just need to airbrush some fleshy pink into the nostrils and ears. Critique welcome!

    I know the major places I screwed up on...
    - The ears are just awful.
    - I nicked the cartilage in his right ear so there's a big gash that's pretty much FUBAR
    - Could've used some clay to really build up the muscles in his jaw / ear area.
    - Holes. So many holes.
    - Eyes look decent, but don't feel 100% real. Again, could benefit from better reference material.
    - Tucked his right tearduct in too much
    - Buy insect pins and pin the crap out of the lip next time. Pretty much had to make him a replacement apoxy lip because his actual lip shriveled like a prune.

    Things I think I did well on:

    - I had no issues with drumming around the chest / neck area whatsoever. It helped that I was already aware that these were problem areas, so I really slathered the area with hide paste and didn't skimp on the T-pins
    - I think the apoxy lip turned out alright. I tried adding some of the natural pink / grey color back into it but it looked really unnatural, so I stuck with browns.
    - I had gotten a bit aggressive in tucking his right tear duct and butchered it with my tool. Took a big chunk right out of it. Opted to cover the area with apoxy and paint over it, and I think the cover-up looks good.
  2. conor44

    conor44 New Member

    Wow :D Im not familiar with whitetails but this looks awesome, not to mention for a first mount??!! My first mammal mount was a hare's head and you DO NOT want to see it, believe me :), you should be proud of yourself

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Well, there is nothing correct on it. Good news is,,, this is the worst deer you will ever mount, as the rest should be better if you study BEFORE you do another. The ear shape is bad, the ear butts are not close, the eye shape is to round, look at all of the skin in front of the eye, that has to be taxied into place, look at a live reference eye photo and look how the skin should be compared to how you have it stretched out out of place. The lower lip is huge, only a sliver of lip should show. Guessing is ok for the first one as you are learning. The arm pit hair you have on the outside of the leg, that all goes on the inside of the leg, pack it in there. That is why it drummed, you have it all taxied wrong. And the nostrils are not the right shape, you need a weekend lesson instead of guessing and wasting materials. The best investment is a lesson, gleaning from here is just soft tips, you need someone to show you so you can get better faster, instead of guessing.
  4. kalira

    kalira New Member

    I've spent the last 6 weeks working under the instruction of a taxidermist. This was for a Large Game class.
  5. Bulldog 32

    Bulldog 32 New Member

    Sorry to be blunt but you need another taxidermist to learn from. Students reflect teachers abilities and sorry but a lot of first mounts have been better just by watching Rick carter's a to z video. I would highly suggest getting that video.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Congrats on getting your first done! As far as tear ducts go, the right on is not even tucked enough and the left is way too open. You should see hair to hair when you tuck the skin into there. If you see skin tuck until all you see is hair. The ear butts are too long and lack muscle shape. as T said, eyes, nose, lips need work. It looks like the average first deer, not as bad as some and not as good as some.
  7. Did you take it to your teacher for a critique when you got it done? I would have to agree with all the points that Low T touched on. Like he said,, they will improve. It's a good first attempt! Don't take the critiques as personal. Learn from them,, and don't give up!!
  8. kalira

    kalira New Member

    Sadly I'm having to skip the last class due to an emergency. I called my instructor to let him know, and he said he will be more than happy to give me any advice or tips I need in the future. He actually does really good work and has been doing taxidermy as a full time business since the 70s, but it was a large class that only met once a week and so he could only devote so much of his time to making sure everybody knew what they were doing. I think he was mostly just concerned with showing us the basic ropes... The rest will surely fall into place with enough time and practice.

    I was a tad annoyed that he let us use bondo rather than insisting on earliners - I think it would've improved the overall shape of my ears (minus the ear butts). I had never worked with bondo before and had no idea how time-sensitive the stuff is. And yes I do agree the lip is way too big. Again, that's my bad for not pinning it better as it dried. I definitely could have spent more time on the ear butts and building up some of the musculature around the ear / jaw with clay, and I should have brought more references to class (would've loved to use my laptop but the class was in a cabin way out in the sticks... no wifi :( )

    I appreciate all of the critique I've gotten from everyone so far, so thank you all very much. I've got two coons and a small doe in the freezer - those will be my next projects to tackle. :)
  9. KatieC

    KatieC Active Member

    You don't need to use any pins on the lip line or anywhere else on the mount if you do things right. Thin the lip skin properly, cut a thin lip line and not some huge thing gashed out with a Dremel bit, and use a good glue on the lip skin. Bag the head for the first couple days of drying so that things don't dry too fast and shrink. If your skin fits the form and you rough up the mannikin and use a good glue, and babysit as things dry, you don't need pins anywhere else either.

    Definitely try out Rick Carter's Whitetail A-Z video and study your reference. Good luck! I took the antlers off my first deer head and threw the rest in the trash, haha. They will get better.
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    DVDs are a great way to learn. If you can't afford classes that could run into a lot of money, DVDs are inexpensive and are there to teach you over and over. In five years from now you will look at this deer head and the one you just finished and you will be amazed at how far you have come from the this first one. My first one had the hair patterns close. That was all that was positive on it. Twenty nine years later, I think I have made some improvement. Do not get discouraged, keep learning and they will get better each one you do.
  11. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Your teacher failed you. If he was any good, your mount would have been a whole lot better. No excuses. Even if he has been in "business" since the 70's, his skill is still in the 70's. You need to find an award winning teacher, not an economy mount teacher.
  12. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    You are locked into the taxidermy "process" and not the proper anatomy. A lack of anatomical knowledge prevents you from identifying proper shapes and locations. The best start for beginners is to already be a good artist. If you have no artistic abilities you are bound to fail miserably at taxidermy. The next step in the right direction would be about $500 worth of reference materials including a couple hundred up-close photographs, skulls, carcass heads, musculature diagrams and 3-d references. Don't just skin out an animal without measuring and checking to see where everything came from as you skinned it out. Without this you are taking a trip to nowhere without a road map. You are driving the car without a determined destination.