Blood ‘N’ Guts for a Consumed Animal Carcass

SKILL LEVEL – moderate
TOXIC – not if you keep it out of your mouth
INGREDIENTS – animal bones, wire & hot glue, Acrylic paint sold in art stores (like Liquitex), vegetable oil, plain Knox Gelatin

The consumed animal carcass for our series Absinthe was made from a set of bones I found at a garage sale. You may not live near nutty neighbors, so you can buy lovely beef bones from your local butcher for very little money, it’s only scrap & soup stoke to them. Then boil the bones until all the flesh falls off. Let them dry in the sun.

Set photo from our Absinthe shoot.

I used temporary products since I wanted to be able to clean and reuse the bones for another project. I used hot glue & wire to piece the bones together into the shape you see. Hot glue created cartilage and acrylic paint mixed with vegetable oil made realistic blood. The color of your paint is important! don’t just grab any old tube of red. I use a variety of acrylic paints so it’s hard to tell you exact color names, but most reds with cadmium in them will be OK. Here is the color charts for Liquitex. Blood has a natural yellow-red hue and when it dries it turns dark rust brown. When in doubt err towards warm reds. Don’t buy a paint color that doesn’t “feel” right in the store, the color won’t magically improve after your bring it home.

The congealed gelatinous fat-goo (that meat eaters adore) was made from a packet of Knox gelatin mixed with yellow & red food coloring.

After the shoot, I soaked the bones in a tub of hot water with a few drops of dishwashing soap. With some elbow grease, the glue chipped off and the paint, oil and gelatin washed clean.

Below is one of the resulting images that came from this set. More can be seen at Ransom & Mitchell.

Detail of fresh carcass bones on plate.


Shot from our Absinthe set of a bowl of “faux” consumed meat and bones.


Wide shot of Absinthe set with ‘faux’ carcass on the table.