Articles

Painting a Largemouth Bass

Painting a Largemouth Bass

by Ron Kelly

Illustrations by Larry Blomquist

This is a paint schedule for a largemouth bass. It can be used for a real fish or replica. The only difference is how you prepare each fish for the paint. The paint is basically applied the same way. I have a system that has worked for me for over 40 years, but I encourage everyone to experiment and try to get better each time as I do. I am open to new methods and try to learn something new each time I paint a fish.

My techniques have a basic side, but my paints and application have changed slightly over time. I started off painting oil paints with a brush (showing my age). Actually, some were quite good back then and surpassed guys that were getting into airbrushing at the time. I gravitated to airbrushing during high school and was fortunate to learn how to use one from Bud Hull in Georgia. He is a legend and still one of the best in my opinion.

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Waterfowl Photo Reference Study: Canvasbacks

Waterfowl Photo Reference Study: Canvasbacks

by Larry Blomquist

This big diving duck, the largest of its genus, is wary and swift in flight, earning the respect of sportsmen. It is a characteristic bird of prairie marshes in summer and saltwater bays in winter. Canvasbacks dive for their food, mainly the bases and roots of plants growing underwater. Its specific name of valisineria refers to the technical name of wild celery, an aquatic plant that is among its favored foods.

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Tribute: Phil Helms (1959-2022)

Tribute: Phil Helms (1959-2022)

by Adam Barton

To my taxidermy family, join me in paying tribute to our fellow taxidermist and co-worker, Phil Helms who passed away August 14, 2022. Phil was born on January 7, 1959. He leaves behind his wife Sheila, daughter Brook, son Nicolas, and new baby granddaughter, Kinsley Rae. Phil was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early in 2021 and fought hard through difficult treatments.

 

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HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED SINCE 2019

HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED SINCE 2019

by Larry Blomquist

The historical city of Springfield, Missouri, was again the location of the 2022 World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships®. Many of you reading this account were there, and for those who could not attend, I here offer you my thoughts and a recap. Two big WTC events had been held there, in 2015 and 2019, before the infamous Covid-19 outbreak that brought our world to a near standstill. During the week of the show, May 3-7, the weather was unusually chilly and occasionally rainy, but the quest for a Best in World title in taxidermy and fish carving was heating up, and as entries flowed in Tuesday, it appeared the judging would be as demanding as any show in the past.

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SKIN-MOUNTING AN ALDABRA TORTOISE

SKIN-MOUNTING AN ALDABRA TORTOISE

by Sirpa Kurz and Constantin Latt

In this preparation protocol, we describe the practical approach to the preparation process of an Aldabra giant tortoise. The main focus is the particular difficulties of preparing specimens of this species. Firstly, the heavy weight of the animal requires a stable construction and handling considerations during the working process. Secondly, the requirements for tanning a reptile skin of this size are demanding. The structures that are highly visible under the skin must be properly represented, and this is only possible with tension-free skin conservation. After careful consideration, a cast was used as a head. Overall, the construction is built using a baseline grid, which serves as an orientation guide throughout the entire process in a forward oriented and comprehensive manner. In the painting process, the focus was to create a great depth effect. This project began December 2019 and was finished January 2021,

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