I want to add a clipping mask to this image so I can get the transparent bits white, however it keeps disappearing all the time, when I try to make it a compound path or untie the image before making it a mask it goes black in various places and ruins the image thank you
It will depend on where you wish the boundary of the change from transparent to white to be.
The artwork is rather open, so:
A) Is the whitenes to extend as far as the outermost black parts, some of them being non contiguous with the rest, and if so, following which shape(s)?
B) Or is it to follow certain solid parts of the artwork, and if so which?
C) Or is it to be somewhere in between, and if so (literally) where in between?
My guess is that you will need to trace the obvious/apparent/chosen outline of the beast as you see it/wish viewers to see it, in other words probably A) and/or C).
Possible ways to fill the will unwanted transparency also depend on the nature of the artwork, such as vector/raster.
Have you considered going the other way, turning the white parts transparent, maybe with the exception of certain shinier/brighter parts to be enhanced, such as within/round/behind the eye and the (wet) snout (tip)/rhinarium?
Or turning most of the white parts grey, maybe with different values, maybe with (soft) transitions?
Or simply making the whole background white?
Or ultimately start over with the original appearance?