1. Once everything is completed on the reconstruction part, the skin is secured with pins into the preferred position. During drying the skin will shrink, and if the feathers are not tied down properly they will be pulled right back up or in wrong positions. The position of the head was moved shortly after this picture was taken, as I was not completely satisfied with the pose of the bird.

2. After about three week of drying the bird is ready for the finishing touches. Colour of the eyelids, legs and beak will all fade with drying, but because the legs of this short eared owl are feathered I didn’t have to airbrush the colour back into them. With other birds, those without feathered legs, it’ll have to be re-coloured.

Final ground materials are added, and a very thin layer of special varnish covers the eyes and creates a wet-look on the eye lid, another detail that makes the final piece ‘speak’.

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