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DonSimpson's avatar

Linear Coyote

Coyote skull (about 7-1/2 inches long), carved, walnut ink stain in carved areas, sealed with a beeswax mixture.

This was a challenge to myself to not use any of my usual spirals or curved lines in the design.
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© 2009 - 2021 DonSimpson
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Saturian78's avatar
Another great piece!
SkullySkulls94's avatar
Absolutely love your work! I'm doing some skull carving myself and have a question: where do you get walnut ink from and how do you apply it specifically to the carved areas? Thanks for your help!
DonSimpson's avatar
Thank you. :) 

If you are carving anything made of bone, antler, shell, or similar materials, it is vital that you do not breath the dust, which can damage your lungs. I have an essay on carving on my deviantART site:

Real walnut ink is made from the husks of walnuts:
There are several how-to pages on the web, like:

I bought my "walnut ink" at an art supply store, and used it on several projects before finding out that it was not made from walnuts, but was someone's ink formula that was mixed to have the same color. This made me angry, as the fake walnut ink would probably not have the permanence of the real stuff. Someone may be selling real walnut ink, but I switched to commercial waterproof brown ink from Pelican, and I am currently experimenting with one from Higgins. I am always experimenting.

For some items, I brush an ink (sometimes thinned by mixing with water to get a more subtle color) onto a whole object or area, and quickly rub it off with a cloth or, in some cases where the ink is absorbed quickly, with an abrasive pad (I use the 3M brand, which I get at a hardware store), so that low or carved areas are stained darker. For inking selected areas I use smaller brushes to carefully put ink only where I want the color. It takes a little skill and practice, but it's that simple.

SkullySkulls94's avatar
Awesome! Thank you so much for your advice, your work really is a true inspiration! 
DonSimpson's avatar
Taigas-den's avatar
This has a very south-west feel to it and it speaks to my heart <3
DonSimpson's avatar
These are both intended. :)
Le-Artist-Boheme's avatar
So I stumbled upon your deviant site thru a tumblr [link] I was so impressed with all of your work. Then I saw this! Surprise, surprise no wonder I like your stuff so much I own a piece :D This piece. Just wanted to let you know that this guy is being well cared for and tended to with love.
DonSimpson's avatar
I am delighted to hear that. :)
JOCAPS's avatar
BeauW's avatar
Very effective. I really love your usual spirals and curved lines, but you've really made something powerful here.
DonSimpson's avatar
Thank you. I'll be trying other experiments,and see if they turn out OK.
InuRyoko's avatar
I love your skull carvings. I was wondering where you usually get them. I was lucky enough to be given three skulls from a taxidermist, a Bear, Fox, and Warthog. However they are just for reference. Then I found a 5ft elk antler and was given two deer buck skulls. But I can never find any Locally. Do you buy them off of Ebay?
DonSimpson's avatar
I've been given skulls, and bought them on eBay, and from a local store called The Bone Room [link] , and from taxidermists on deviantART, such as *Zhon and *MorRokko, and garage sales. Quality varies greatly. See my essay on carving [link] also.
InuRyoko's avatar
Why thank you very much I appreciate it. I have called my local Taxidermists and they say they will have most stuff to just give away at the end of august beginning of september. Thank you for the essay link as well I am very interested in carving and painting skulls as well as just using them as the amazing decorations they are :P
Ellygator's avatar
Love the angular thunderbolt design! It fits the sleek shape of the skull perfectly.
DonSimpson's avatar
I will be trying more experiments and challenges. I hope some of them turn out this well. :)
steelraven's avatar
DonSimpson's avatar
Shadyufo's avatar
Really gorgeous piece! I like the natural tones of the stain, it really adds to it. And what an awesome design!

Beautiful work!
DonSimpson's avatar
Thank you. I do tend to use natural tones. Maybe my next challenge to myself should be polychrome.
corset-wench's avatar
lovely, as always...always good to explore new territory.
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