Burnt Orange Longhorn Skull for University of Texas Graduate

Howdy folks. Thanks for all the comments / questions in recent months. Life has been a bit busy but I thought I’d share a skull that I completed recently for a colleague’s son who is set to graduate from the University of Texas next year (which is perfect because their mascot is the longhorn). 

This skull was a bit of a trick because I wanted to make sure I captured the essence of the school without being corny and painting a mural on it (although that’d be a very Austin thing to do). I want this to be a piece that this kid isn’t bashful about hanging 10+ years from now in his office, home, etc. With burnt orange being the signature color of the school, I wanted to make sure that it stood out. 

This was all easier said than done. It actually took me three full attempts to get a concept that I liked. I should have just practiced on small calf skulls but I was a bit over-confident and stubborn. Quickly learned that monochromatic paint schemes are the toughest to pull off…especially orange, burnt orange. 

After initial sprays, dips, etc., I finally settled on just doing a nice blend of spray paints. I used dark brown, pumpkin orange, and a nifty copper reflective paint to help bring out the shimmering glow of the Austin sunset that UT is famous for. Sometimes simpler really is better. 

I also have another client, same situation with their daughter graduating from UT soon. Going to class it up a bit with a cheap piece of white jewelry that I found at Forever 21. Goal is to keep it elegant and able to work in any room that they want to work with in the future. Also want to note that I dremel graduation year, name, and any other requests to the roof of the mouth just to personalize it a bit. And I do dremel because I prefer the permanence of it. 

Please note on the photos below that some of the extreme dark spots are shadows created by the copper paint. In person it has a really neat effect where it constantly looks different and changes based on where you sit / time of day. 

Shameless Plug: If you or anyone you know is a UT graduate, I’d be happy to do a skull for you. Shoot me a note if you’re interested.


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