The "eyes" have it

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by fourfive8, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    I am not a taxidermist but have had a few things mounted over the years- from mountain sheep to mule deer to brown bears. And for the last quite a few years nothing but skull mounts done.... except for a nice kudu that I was "forced" to have shoulder mounted. It just arrived after a couple of years of great fear and anticipation. IMO, it actually turned out well and am very pleased. The first thing I checked were the eyes. I saw "expression".

    Aside from the basics, like skin/cape care, correct form size, correct skin prep, etc., I was told long ago by a very talented taxidermist that the eyes can make or break any mount. I have come to realize he was right. If you look at the face and eyes and there is no "expression" it's just not right. Here's a few pics from wide shots to tight shots showing the eyes and hopefully the "expression" in my last kudu. BTW likely the last animal I'll ever have done as my big game hunting days are nearing an end.

    The "wall".png K face tight.png
    Kudu face .JPG
    K left eye tight.JPG
     

  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Certainly a Kudu worthy of mounting.
     

  3. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    I am so happy that you have had good luck with your mounts.

    I on the other hand have had no luck at all because they never seemed to be what I wanted and a big standing brown bear mount, who when he was alive was so pissed off at my very exsistance that at 50 yards stood up on his hind legs, made psychotic bear noises while shaking his head, and making them pro wrestler moves with his paws showing how he was going to lift me up, pull out my full piss bag, make me drink the contents before he'd put me out of my misery. What I got back was a giant Teddy Ruckspin with bulging crossed eyes, posed like he was ready to do the cha-cha with Lola Falana and a grin on his face that my brothers from Texas and Alabama made him look like he was gay.

    After that I went for just bone and horn mounts that eventually get very old and boring.

    The bear went to the one daughter with a 12'foyer and he gets dressed for all holidays....though he still looks like a great big cross eyed queer no matter what you do with him.

    Best of luck.
     

  4. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Dang Von, that was funny!
     
    Von S. and cls like this.

  5. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Yes, that is funny and sad and unfortunately common! Something similar happened to me about 50 years ago with a pronghorn. Not a big loss really, but it made me very cautious about taxidermy and taxidermists.
     
    Von S. likes this.

  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Looks great! Congrats!
     

  7. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Yes, 63 1/4” kind of forced the issue and one of the reasons for the apprehension until I could take possession and inspect it.
     

  8. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Here's a little better overall view

    kudu angle.png
     

  9. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Very nice Kudu, and yes, you are right it is all about expression. Specially with cats, it´s hard to see good cat taxidermy, most look very odd.
     

  10. Jason Miller

    Jason Miller AH Member

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    my favorite lion taxidermy work

    500lionfromside-mona-skoglund_5.png doofy-lion.jpg
     

  11. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    You are sooooo right. The expression and eye set are the realism of a piece.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hey , that's one NASTY LION.
    NYATI you'll like this.....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2019

  12. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Yeah,it's all in the eyes...I have been fortunate with all my mounts that they have turned out very kifelike.
    Another aspect is the MOUTH...a lot of taxuderTa fallsshort onthe mouth...particularly lion mounts!!
    I have seen some awesome lions destroyed by having a non lifelike mouth!!
    FANTASTIC kudu, BTW, and would have been sacriledge not to have mounted him
     

  13. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Excellent kudu congrats. He does look very very good. Dennis the eyes look great on the Kudu picture. Probably the most life like kudu I ve ever seen.
     

  14. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Looks great and congrats!
     

  15. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    458, sorry to hear u r even thinking about calling it quits but that holy grail kudu is amazing. Fully agree about the eyes
     
    meigsbucks likes this.

  16. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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  17. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    That look great.
     

  18. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Enthusiast

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    Beautiful kudu FourFive8!!! You are absolutely correct that the eyes make the mount.
    Sorry to hear that your hunting days are about over. Looking at where you’ve hunted, you’ve had a heck of a hunting career with lots of great memories. That kudu is an incredible final chapter.
     

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