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Paint color for deer noses...

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by HunterArchery, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. What color are many of you folks using to airbrush your deer's nose pads? My mentor uses a special color from McKenzie called Yox Nose Pad Gray - but when we used it - at least to me - and I admit I am a newbie) - but it seems way too much of a 'grayish' color than black. From all the noses that I have seen and observed during the last 40 yrs of hunting, pics of deer, etc. - a deer's nose IS actually black indeed and not grayish. (BTW - I am a retired tattoo artist and have a pretty keen eye for colors, painting, etc.)

  2. Guttbag22

    Guttbag22 Member

    I use you gray then mist black over top gives it more depth looking than just black

  3. A deer nose is actually several colors. All the paints I use are lacquer based and I use lifetone paints. I start with dusty pink, then I lightly hit the edges with neutral grey, then I mix jet black, a couple drops of off white on all the edges and the top 1/3 of the nose pad. Then I cover entire nose with gloss topcoat. That kind of eats the over spray out of the nooks and crannies and really makes the lighter tones stand out.
  4. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    I use burnt umber followed by payne's gray and then a light mist of intense red on upper lip.
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A deer's nose is not black. If you look at a blown up closeup of a LIVE deers nose, you will see more bright flesh color than you would think possible.
    It reminds me of a black berry. At a distance, a blackberry looks, well, black. Get up close, real close and it looks purple.
    A deer's nose is the same way. It is a darkish gray on the little nodules and flesh color beneath and in between them.

    I use a wash of white on the lower part of the pad around the lower lip and into the white hairs near the bottom of the pad. I then use a wash of flesh color over the entire pad.
    Now I will do a light wash of dark flesh on the upper two thirds of the pad. I then hit only the nodules with dark brown very lightly, leaving the flesh between the nodules flesh.
    Lastly, I mist the nose pad very lightly with a very diluted black. The mixture is about 75% thinner. I mist it so lightly that it will come out looking kind of a brownish dark gray.
    The black is so lightly misted that you can still see the flesh, now toned down from the black, between the nodules. The blacktails I get here as well as the mule deer, have darker noses than the whitetails I have reference of.

    At a distance of 10 ft, my noses will look almost black. at 3 ft, it will look gray. Under 3 ft, and you'll kind of see the flesh and kind of not. You won't realize that the flesh is there it is so subtle, however, it will make the nose look more alive. When I started doing this, along with similar eye painting techniques, I started getting the "it looks so alive" compliments.

    Get Rick Carters A-Z white tail DVD and you'll see some of that. I have several Breakthrough magazines that detail this.
    High slope Artistry likes this.
  6. OK thanks - because it seems all the pics I have seen of deer's noses and the deer that I have taken hunting appear totally black to me! ???

    Like this pic attached!

    Attached Files:

  7. I will have to watch Dennis Behn's 'Whitetail Deer Finishing Basics' DVD again and see what he does as well.
    Westcoast likes this.
  8. Some noses..

    Attached Files:

  9. Thanks for the nice pics !
  10. jhunter13

    jhunter13 Member

    It takes several colors to make something look vivid and alive (even if it looks black) Where straight black will look flat, and have zero apeal.
  11. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member


    The problem I see here is that's not black.
    Mike Powell likes this.
  12. Well, that's why I am a newbie and that's why I am on here. To learn and ask questions!
    drob likes this.
  13. AFWS posted some really nice deer nose pics here that might help you:


  14. Wow thanks those are indeed some great pictures. I was sure to save them to my computer for future reference. Thanks again I can see what you're all talking about now very clearly. Thanks much this will help a lot
  15. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A dead deer will never give you a good color reference because the blood that causes the flesh color is no longer flowing so pink flesh will turn white and grays and browns looks blackish. The underlying flesh coloring is really key in toning the nose, eyes and ears. Even the brisket area on thin hair will be flesh color.
    When I first learned this stuff, it went against what I thought was right and from what I'd been taught. I tried it though and once that white and pink are used as a base, man does it look alive. That right there was what I was missing. I went from "looks great" to "WOW! I have never seen a mount look so alive!" It's that important.
  16. And a "Blackberry Nose" will get you point deductions in competition......
  17. Ahhh interesting!
  18. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    By blackberry nose, I mean a blackberry looks black but it is not. It actually is purple. The analogy was meant to underscore the fact that a nose may look black, however, the underlying blood flow gives it a pinkish undertone.
    My statement was not alluding to the texture or shape, just what appears to be one thing is really another. I'm sure a judge could deduct points for the huge nodules we see from time to time, but I doubt a judge would deduct points for for having a base coat underlying a color that is not black.
    Lance.G likes this.
  19. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    The connotation would be the "Raspberry" nose , not blackberry, noting the bumps on a deer's nose, LOL.
  20. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I know the guy that came up with the color Yox nose pad grey. It was meant as a base color to do the nose pattern, or for solid color pads. It is used with a black value sprayed lightly over it, and flesh tones preceding it. As for the color itself, it will grey out if you dont shake it repeatedly. If you fill a airbrush top cup, only add small amounts at a time. This color value was meant to look like a violet hue, and to stay away from the blues seen in paynes grey, or the reds and browns of other paints.
    Lance.G likes this.