Painted Bison and Hog Skull Experimentation


Howdy folks. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted – been going through a ton of personal growth and life change which has warranted my attention. Hoping to get back into the groove of posting on here and responding to comments in a timely manner.

I feel like I’ve made some major strides in my skulls lately. When I first started painting, I had a vision of what I wanted my skulls to look like. However I struggled identifying the proper techniques to use since bone is so vastly different than canvas.

A lot of folks like to paint figures and images on their skulls. That’s fine, but it’s far from the style I’m trying to achieve. I want to provide a sense of modernity to a room without overwhelming anyone – modestly create a sense of intrigue.

So I started experimenting with a bison skull and a hog skull. I dropped the acrylic paint and started practicing with enamel based paints. Ironically I found a lot of great techniques just poking around on YouTube, searching for street artists.

Painted Bison Skull

You’ll see the bison in the gallery below and he is now complete. Bison provide an awesome skull to work with as far as their overall presence, size, etc. But this one gave me a ton of trouble in regards to odor on the horn covers (the black part of the horn slides off just like they do on some cows). This one wasn’t properly prepared and therefor I have substantial odor issues. Experimenting with baking soda and essential oils right now to see what I can do to get it back on track post-painting. Also, for those that are wondering what the black hole is in the middle of the skull, that’s caused from the bolt gun that they use at the slaughterhouses.

Painted Hog Skull

The other skull is from a hog that I picked up off a farmer for $20. Great find, very excited about experimenting more with him. I have a shameful love for neon and obnoxious colors and this was the one skull where I thought I could get away with experimenting on a really bright note. He was a huge boar, has some pretty sizeable tusks on him. I’ll eventually paint those white. I did an acrylic base and went to it with some crazy enamel on the outside. I think I want to do another round of something on him, maybe tone it down a bit, but I’m digging some elements of it. Please disregard some of the sloppiness you’ll see on the crown with paint dripping, etc. Like I said, mainly experimenting.

Anyways, just wanted to put these out there to share and hopefully inspire some of you. Feel free to ask questions! And on the off chance someone actually wants to purchase the bison skull (best for outside), then let me know either in a comment or by using the contact button.

1 thought on “Painted Bison and Hog Skull Experimentation

  1. Carrie Bennett Reply

    Thank you for all the good info you have posted. I have just recently started thinking about painting on animal skulls. I have only worked with deer skulls and usually I just clean them and bleach them and mount them on a covered board. The last one I did was a skull for my 10yr old son that I turned into an awesome nightlight that he absolutely loves. I had to strip it myself because it was given to me by my brother from last years hunting season. To clean it completely out I buried it in a fire ant mound and stirred it now and then. they did the work for me and it was pretty much bare. I then put it in a 5 gallon bucket and added some bleach. I did make one stupid mistake and forgot to remove the tape that held the deer tags from his hunt. I ended up with a band that looked strange because it wasn’t white like the rest of the skull. its easy to fix with paint, but it does take a lot of time to dry. Again thank you for your article as I had no idea what kind of paint would be the best for a cow skull that will be placed outside. I was able to get a skull from a church garage sale for $20 and I’m in the process of cleaning it up for painting a Texas flag them on it. With reading your article I feel better prepared to take on this task. Thank you

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