I had a lot of trouble making the bear head pattern, which is interesting because I don't remember having too much difficulty making the coyote pattern. I had to try three different bear head patterns before I got the final one. I use foam rugshells/head forms that I buy from a taxidermy website to make the patterns. I started off trying to sculpt the animal's head, and then make a pattern off of that but not only did that take forever but I feel like I wouldn't have gotten as accurate results. The foam bear head is specifically a grizzly bear head- and a small one at that - but it's still HUGE!
The final pattern taped to the head. I go through a lotttt of computer paper in this process.
Turning the paper pattern into a more permanent pattern on thin cardboard. I also test out the pattern by making a head out of less valuable fabric first. You can see my tester in the background of this picture, made out of an old sheet.
The coyote and bear head.
The incomplete head laid on top of the foam head, just to see how it might look. The foam head isn't used in the final skin. They are stuffed.
For every animal, I have to look at photos of skulls and teeth and draw the teeth. Each set of teeth is specific to the animal. I don't use the same teeth for the wolves that I used on the bear. I really like playing the researcher and drawing the top and bottom sets of teeth.