Sunday, October 23, 2011


As a portrait artist, faces are my 'thing', I enjoy creating them more then any other part of the horse, and have usually finished the face in the very early stages.
On this guy I am only re-sculpting the bottom half of his face, as the eyes he already has are fine, they will get eyelashes, but that is it.

So let's begin :)
First assemble all the players. Pony, Apoxie Sculpt, for face work like this I use the Aves safety solvent for smoothing (it stays wetter for longer then the metho, and does not make the clay sticky like water) a soft cheapo brush. My sculpting tools are an orange (cuticle) stick, a sanded and shaped wooden skewer and a toothpick.

Pony is ready, his face is already roughed up from where I dremeled his features off.

Following my reference photos, I add to his profile, giving him more forehead, continuing right down and including the squishy bit between his nostrils. Once I think I have it 'about' right, I use my finger in the solvent to smooth and feather the edges.

 Next I roll out a little sausage and create a top lip, just plop it on.

Then I have smoothed it out using the brush dipped in the solvent. I am not concerned with shape so much, as the clay will take a few hours to cure, there is plenty of work time. 

Starting to take shape

Next comes the outer nostril. I start with a vague leaf shape, not too thin, maybe a millimetre thick. It is easier to shape and sand down excess then it is to add more onto detailed parts like faces.

 I then roll it onto my shaped wooden skewer. This has to be done gently, or the clay will not want to come off the skewer, which can be quite frustrating!

Here I have just placed the nostril on the face, it is just sitting there. I think I lose about three nostrils on the floor for every one I manage to keep on a face.

 This is the bit that anchors the nostril down, and creates the correct shape. I am using a blade to make a simple cut and trim the excess clay.

Next is the inner section of the nostril. Once again, same as the lips, a little sausage is rolled. 

I place one end inside, then using my skewer and toothpick, I bend the sausage at a right angle down towards his top lip. Smooth, smooth, smooth :)

Ta da! Character.

More soon...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All finished.

The big fulla is done, and up for sale!
I have chosen to list him on eBay, something different, and not sure if I am terribly comfortable with it just yet. Not that I have anything against eBay, I don't, I think it is a safe way to sell and buy, but the anticipation literally kills me, I am a nervous wreck till the last minute.

Lots more photos on his Auction site.

Painting finished ...back to sculpting, YAY!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Painting ...

... is not my favourite part of customising unfortunately. I love watching the horse come to life, I love the end result, I love scouring the Internet looking for the perfect colour, but when it actually comes to applying the pastels, procrastination becomes my greatest talent.

This time however I am using Jaime Baker's DVD's to paint.
I have learnt that in most ways, I was doing it sorta right, but those few extra tips and tricks from an experienced artist have really made a huge difference to my style and technique. I feel that I am in control of my pastels, but not micro managing them as I used to.

I have been able to loosen up and look at the horse as a whole, not just a little section at a time.
I am also looking at my reference photos with new eyes, they have made me think about what technique I can use to get a certain effect.

But best of all, my motivation and confidence to paint and create a realistic end result has increased 100%.
Bloody brilliant :)