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Taxidermy Wolf Tutorial - Pt 4 by Zhon Taxidermy Wolf Tutorial - Pt 4 by Zhon
For Phase 3, Click here: [link]

39.) Superglue -OR- pin the lips into place. I prefer superglue as it bonds skin very well! Just be sure it isn't your skin. I recommend pinning the crap out of it for all you who are not friends with superglue.

40.) Pin the front corner of the tear duct. This will keep the eyeskin from moving off-course when you go to tuck in the eyelids.

41.) With a stiff paintbrush, tuck the eyelid skin under your clay brows so the skin is between the brow clay and the glass eye. You could adjust the eye to the expression you want, but it isn't recommended until further on when the rest of the skin is in place (or else the eye will shift on you and you'll be chasing it until you are frustrated)

42.) Card the cheeks and jawline with some cardboard (like that thin stuff from cereal boxes). This prevents the skin from drumming on you, thus creating a hollow pocket between the form and skin. Use T-pins to secure the skin down into the form.

43.) Now you can play with the eyes. Adjust them to the width you want them and set the eyebrow creases.

44.) The red lines will show you where to put your brow creases. You can make them harsh or soft depending on the mood of your wolf (I went for a softer happy look)

45.) Model the nose to the shape you want it. I tend to make my nostrils really deep. Pack in the clay so it gives some anchor to the skin if the foam is really mangled. Look into reference pictures for the type of nose you would want your wolf to have (some are flared more than others)

46.) Play with your facial expressions (I love this picture... Wolfie looks crazy wacky!) But cover up each half of my wolf's face and look at the expressions. The left half seems really angry/pissed while the right half looks a bit more relaxed. You will need to constantly look at the placement of your ears, to make sure they are level, as well as the carding and the nose.

47.) Finally, Settle on an expression you like and leave it to dry for 2-3 days. Babysit it by checking up on it every couple hours to make sure the skin doesn't shift on you. Over the drying period, the skin DOES tend to shrink by pulling away from the eyes.... Keep an eye out for this, and you can keep playing with it until the clay hardens.

The overall head should be dry in 2-3 days at room temperature.... 4 to be safe.
:D
THIS ENDS PHASE 3 OF THE TUTORIAL.
Stay tuned for PHASE 5! (the painting and stuff that makes the wolf look REAL!
______________________________
______________________________

Disclaimer: I did not hunt this wolf. It came to me already tanned from a fellow taxidermist (who didn't hunt it either). I bought it from him and am building this costume/rug for a friend of mine. This wolf came from Canada (NOT Alaska) and was imported with all Federally Legal paperwork!
Therefore the skin was not from a poached animal. All of my skins are legally obtained from taxidermy facilities or licensed hunters I speak with personally.

SO DON'T LEAVE MEAN COMMENTS! :pissed:

For God's Sake! Only STUPID people leave comments on things they Hate!!!!

For all you who love learning the art of taxidermy...
ENJOY!
:heart:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconx-spiritblaze-x:
X-Spiritblaze-X Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Beautiful Wolf :)
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:iconfuzzheadsmurf:
fuzzheadsmurf Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What kind of clay do you use? And how much time do you have to play with it before it sets up?
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I use Critter Clay made by Aves. It stays soft as long as you keep it hydrated or wrapped up. :)
Reply
:iconwolffoxin:
wolffoxin Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When you leave it to dry, is there any way to make sure it does not grow mold or begin to decompose in the process? Because where I live it is very humid and I am going to rehydrate my coyote but I am not so sure about drying it... :/
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Usually a skin will not mold easily due to the tanning chemicals...but just in case if you are worried, you can spray it with some lysol mixed with water.
But yeah...leather will not mold very easily....I have kept wet skins in the fridge for a month with no mold.
Reply
:iconwolffoxin:
wolffoxin Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, thank you for the help. :)
Reply
:iconendless-masquerade:
Endless-Masquerade Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Fantastic tutorial. I'm using it as a supplement to the 5 gillion other tutorials I'm reading up on mounting canines lol. But I have a question and you seem like the nicest person to ask (I like how taxi.net is really anti DA but taxi people seem to be the rude ones when it comes to answering questions). In part 47 you say "Finally, Settle on an expression you like and leave it to dry for 2-3 days. Babysit it by checking up on it every couple hours to make sure the skin doesn't shift on you. Over the drying period, the skin DOES tend to shrink by pulling away from the eyes.... Keep an eye out for this, and you can keep playing with it until the clay hardens."

My question is, I deal with clay a lot, and obviously the way to keep your clay from drying is to stick a plastic bag over it. But I'm wondering, isn't sticking hide paste and a hide over clay the same idea? Or does the hide "breathe" enough to get air to the clay so that it dries. Does it take longer than normal for the clay to dry (aka if the hide and paste dries in 2-3 days should I still babysit it and wait a bit longer so that the clay will fully set) Sorry for the multitude of questions, but after having clay only partially harden on me before in other projects it was a question that I needed to ask and couldn't seem to find a good answer for.
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
OMG! I am so sorry for getting back to you so late! I had to clean out my message box. But with the air-dry clays, they will harden when all the moisture dries out (of course we all knew that) But in a way, yes! Hide does sortof breathe. It will be the first thing to dry, then the moisture underneath will leech out.
I have put stuff together soggy and babysat it while it dried without any problem with the hide or clay beneath the skin.
Reply
:iconendless-masquerade:
Endless-Masquerade Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Quite alright! I appreciate you getting back to me, thank you. Great, very good to know (I already mounted up my first fox head, but was still sort of wondering haha)
Reply
:icondiamonddusttaxidermy:
DiamondDustTaxidermy Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much for sharing tutorials like this! I'm trying to learn taxidermy and am having a terrible time with lips coming untucked. Then I have to fill in with epoxy and end up with big silly lips. I'll try the superglue next time, that ought to do it.
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Not a problem! I love showing people how stuff works.
and if you are having issues with lips coming untucked....how do you make your lip slots? I tend to undersize mine so when both upper and lower lips are tucked it's hard to pull them out. Pins can also secure lips in place.
I also tend to "overtuck" stubborn lips, so that way if i know they will untuck, they shrink to a normal looking pose.
Reply
:icondiamonddusttaxidermy:
DiamondDustTaxidermy Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
I was just poking the slots out with a lip tucking tool, but I figure I'd better cut the them smaller with a knife. I've been using lots of pins. I'll try the smaller lip slot, super glue, and some better pins and hopefully that will work!

Thank you for the advice. :)
Reply
:iconwolfiedude101:
Wolfiedude101 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Where do you actually pin the lips? I'm going to be working on an open mouth wolf next weekend. Do you pin them right at the edge of the jawset?
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
I honestly do not pin the actual lips. I run a bead of superglue around the edge of the jaw-line and roll the skin over it. The only part I actually pin is the lower jaw in the fur so it doesnt drum in the low-area.

If you do not use superglue, I suggest pinning the crap out of the lips from the INSIDE of the mouth, so you dont have a ton of pin-holes to fill on the outside.
Just pin all the tabs of the inner lip skin to the foam form.
Reply
:iconwolfiedude101:
Wolfiedude101 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
great, thanks :)
Reply
:iconwhite-tanuki-fox:
White-Tanuki-Fox Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My wolf's head is small :) her head is the size of my coyote face xD they look the same to :O
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
could be an adolescent wolf! They do make small wolf forms, and if it is a real youngster, you can always use a coyote form!
Reply
:iconwhite-tanuki-fox:
White-Tanuki-Fox Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ja most likely, yea ill see if i can find one she seems to have all her bottom jaw to :3 so hope it comes out good!
Reply
:icontrishmacdonnell:
trishmacdonnell Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011
Lovely tutorial, many thanks for posting it. I'm about to try my first soft mount, a mink. This kind of tutorial is invaluable and helpful.
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
You are very welcome! :D
Reply
:iconmikathewolfx:
mikathewolfx Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
or is it
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
it is!
Reply
:iconmikathewolfx:
mikathewolfx Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
kool
Reply
:iconmikathewolfx:
mikathewolfx Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i thought that was a real wolf
Reply
:iconmitzi-mutt:
Mitzi-Mutt Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it is real
Reply
:iconwarriorxcats:
WarriorXCats Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing! I love how you capture the life in the dead wolf... If that makes any sense! :XD:
But, I've actually got a question... Do you put something on the pelt to keep it from deteriating or does it never deteriate?
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
The pelt is professionally tanned by a reputable tannery. Basically what they do is take the raw skin and put it through a series of chemicals to turn it into leather. Then it's just like a fur-coat and doesnt deteriorate.
Reply
:iconwarriorxcats:
WarriorXCats Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh... Okay. I was just curious about that! :D
Reply
:iconiceedragons:
Iceedragons Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
so you make the nose out of clay?
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
There is clay beneath the actual nose skin.
Reply
:iconjacamat:
jacamat Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
What an intense craft! It must take a lot of skill and patience to do, plus the obvious art of knowing the way fur flows, expression, etc.

You're amazingly talented.



Though of course, I don't condone hunting, you did it the most legal way possible, and in a sense, it makes it so much more appreciate to look at. Really wonderful work you did.
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much! :D
Reply
:icon10thdevision:
10thDevision Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009
poor wolf, but you cant think of that when you realise that with taxidermy, you get so much closer to a once fair treated animal, it's beautiful great job
Reply
:iconpsychogizmo:
psychogizmo Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
WOW, I thought for sure this one would be the end! Well, it's really coming together! That's so cool.
Reply
:icondarcum:
Darcum Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2008
It looks awesome already :P
Can't wait to see the finished product!
Reply
:iconmiserybahamut:
miserybahamut Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been following this thing, and it amazes me. I never knew there was so much work put into this. It's INSANE. Dang. You are doing a fantastic job on it. Amazing how simple folds can make the expression so much different.
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thankies!
:D
Reply
:iconrott1ng:
ROTT1NG Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol The first pic makes it look as if hes drinking a bottle
Reply
:iconrott1ng:
ROTT1NG Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well im in australia.. how much would it be liek to import from where you are and everything.. you know legal issues and such?
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
With full documentations, it could be about $200-ish. Depends on your customs. Call your department of wildlife or Import customs and ask them what their regulations are (US and Australian customs are very different)
Reply
:iconashley-schoenholtz:
ashley-schoenholtz Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
I am loving these :) Very cool watching the process of taxidermy. I can say it has me really interested in it just seeing some of your own works and this tutorial.

Do you make the nose look more wet towards the end, or do you generally live it rough looking? Just curious :)
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thankies!
The nose actually is just very glared.... it'll be more shiny in the end! :D
Reply
:icontheneongryphon:
TheNeonGryphon Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
This process is amazing.
Reply
:iconesuterure2006:
ESUTERURE2006 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
woo! i love it,i can't wait for the photos that you'll be sending me of the wolf pelts you have.
Reply
:iconficktionphotography:
FicktionPhotography Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Hahaha, the first picture looks like the wolf is going to eat you. The split picture is hysterical with the 'rawr' and 'hello there' bit. The nose on that bad boy looks gigantic in some of those shots to focus on the eyes. It's great! Good work!
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
XD
BIG NOSE!!!
Reply
:iconaichan25:
aichan25 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
it's so lovely so far! i wants it! >___<

OH! i'll be posting a WIP pic later today of your Wold OC! so you know i haven't forgotten!
Reply
:iconaichan25:
aichan25 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i meant Wolf not wold
Reply
:iconzhon:
Zhon Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
WHOO HOO!
Reply
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