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First Elk

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by ARUsher, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. ARUsher

    ARUsher Well-Known Member

    I just finished my first attempt at an Elk. This is my third game head. Tanned with Mckenzie brush on tan, on a Coombs form with Tohickon eyes. I am pretty happy with how it came out but also know there is definitely room for improvement. Tear it apart, please let me know where you think I can improve on my next piece. Thanks in advance. IMG_67931.jpg IMG_67851.jpg IMG_67911.jpg IMG_67881.jpg IMG_67841.jpg IMG_67891.jpg IMG_67921.jpg
     
    Pikeonthefly likes this.
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Ears, location is what jumps out at me. You have the ears coming out of the back of it's head without earbutts. Remember where the ear canal comes out of the skull, that is where the ear but starts. For example I have an elk skull and the ear canal comes out of the skull 4 inches below the base of the antler and straight back from the bottom of the eye orbit. The skin alignment on the ears throws the shape off as well. The antler placement appears to be tipped back a bit. The eyes, the clay work is rough and the skin alignment is off from one to the other.
     
    ARUsher likes this.

  3. ARUsher

    ARUsher Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the input 3 Bears. I will take that and work on that for my next piece. Thanks again, I appreciate it.
     
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Something that has worked for me to make my finished clay work look smoother is to use a brush to work the eye area, instead of a hard tool and be gentle about it. I do my clay work hours before I mount an animal and get them looking as close to perfect, for my eyes anyway, as I can, then let dry for a few hours, I then mount the skin and while I'm sewing it up the clay rehydrates enough to tuck the skin around the eyes without ruining my clay work. I know it's different from many that set the face and then sew up the seam but it works for me.
     
    jessewild and ARUsher like this.
  5. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

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    The ears drew my attention as well. The first mule deer I mounted was a guess at the mannikin size and as a result when I tightened up the seam on the back it pulled the ears back. Other than that though I think you did a pretty darn good job. Any chance you might be able to soak just that area and maybe rework it just a little?
     
    ARUsher likes this.
  6. ARUsher

    ARUsher Well-Known Member

    Thank you both for the tips. I will have to try that for the clay work on my eyes 3 Bears. I did the clay work that way before on the last two pieces I did and ended up destroying the work slipping the cape on the form, I guess I didn't let it dry enough. This time I put the cape on the form down to the neck, then attached skull plate and did clay work on the eyes before sliding the face skin on.

    As for the ears, I really struggled with them and learned a valuable lesson. I thought I was doing all the good getting ear liners with the butts pre-molded on them. I wont do that again! I didn't like the way they sat either and had no way of changing them. I should have just cut them off and made my own, but had already set them with epoxy. Due to the plastic butts, I really couldn't bring them forward anymore because of the third antler and if I came down and forward, my seam wouldn't close on the back. So I tried to set them as close as I could and symmetrical. I wont be doing that again for sure.
     
    3bears likes this.
  7. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    Try using a paint brush to smooth out the skin around your eyes after tucking. You will get softer eye.
     
    ARUsher likes this.
  8. ARUsher

    ARUsher Well-Known Member

    Thanks Lance!