Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Painted Hog's Skull

This winter, I stuffed a pig's head for a friend's short movie. This experience in taxidermy didn't turn out very well; I didn't degrease the skin correctly so it didn't cure fully. However, it worked great for my friend's movie;

As a result, I had a pig's skull laying in my basement. I finally used it in a sculpture made for a class in college:
Giorgio by *ars-anima on deviantART

At the end of college, I couldn't bring that tall thing home, so I just ripped off the skull and threw the rest away.

I was once again stuck with that skull, without knowing what to do with it.

Inspirationg struck two days ago while I was bored out of my skull (HAHA A PUN! YES! I ROCK!). This skull SHALL BE PAINTED, proclaimed-I!

Thus I began ripping all the lights, silicone, wire and urethane out of it.

This done, I started painting the skull without any sketch or whatever. I used Delta craft paints; the opacity and fluidity of a quality craft paint makes it perfect for such a job. I didn't try to follow any ritual or traditional pattern; I just painted following as much as I could the natural shape of the skull. (sorry if you have to turn your head 90°, I'm too lazy to rotate the pictures)

I tried to use mainly bright colours to give it a gipsy or voodoo appearance; of course, just a few icons painted on leaving lots of the natural color, or a darker theme would look just as good if not better.

Once the main painting job was done, I sanded the hell out of the skull using a coarse grain sandpaper, and also a very fine one to give it a polished with us texture. Afterwards, I applied a nice coat of stain made of coffee, acrylic paints, white glue and varnish. Wood stain followed with a coat of varnish would have worked just as good if not better, but I didn't have any at hand.

There ya go!

old, dirty, and ready to hang!

If you wish to try your hand at skull painting, you can find already clean skulls on Ebay, or go take a look at The Bone Room or Skulls Unlimited. Be warned though that professionally cleaned bones tended to be expensive; If you're not squeamish, cleaning the skulls of roadkill or of heads bought at a slaughterhouse is a damn cheap option. The whole hog's head I used, who's meat was turned into great headcheese by my wonderful mom, cost just 10$ at the slaughterhouse.

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