Monday, February 27, 2012

Mistral progress

Nearly all of the crumbly clay has now been replaced,YAY! with the exception of two hooves. I finally feel like I am making headway with the boy.
His owners are happy with his body type, long and lean. So I can move onto detail, all the little bits that made Mistral 'Mistral'.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Next please!

I expected to be painting this week. I had a Humphrey resin (white/grey) a Whisper resin (bay) and three plastic CMs that are ready or close to ready for paint.

Two of the plastics have sold, Valentine and PAM, and I will not be the painter of either :) They are both going off overseas for their new coats.

That left me a little lost. I don't like not having a couple of traditional size CM's going, and Kelly is at the refinement stage, so I have dug through the body box. Out came Keltic Salinero, and on came the Dremel *impish chuckle*

Sally was going to be another WB in a flying extended trot, but as I started cutting, he told me he does not want to be a Warmblood anymore...he wants to be a Lipanzzaner!

Research time! After a morning of photo collecting, I thought I knew what I was doing, lol, Sally once again had other ideas!

This is where he is now...a few more tweaks and he would be performing a great Pasade...

but this is where he wants to be! He wants Levade.

Looks simple huh? But this is not just a normal rear, this a carefully controlled haute air movement, it must look difficult, lots of tension and strength. I think this simple custom is going to be much harder then it looks.

Drat you Sally! :D

For some great descriptions on the Pasade, Levade and other Huate air movements, you can find further reading here;

Friday, February 17, 2012

Starting an Original Sculpt

Keeping in mind that I am self taught, and I do what works for me, what works for you might be completely different :) this is how I begin...

All of my OS (original sculpts) have been portraits of real horses. All of them have been alive and I have been able to visit them to get the appropriate measurements and photos. With Mistral however, he has passed after a freak accident :( therefore I am relying solely on photos the owners already have.

Luckily for me they were keen photographers and the horse widely campaigned so I have in excess of 120 photos of the boy. Most of them of him jumping.
By far the most important photo though, is this one;

And this is why...

This is the most 'square' photo I have of Mistral and from it I was able to get a fair idea of his measurements. Once I have found the horses points, where the significant joints are, I can build an armature to scale. Bone length does not change, joints open, close, flex and turn. Muscles squish, slide and stretch, but bone length stays the same.
The only lengths that will change from a static to a moving horse is the neck, back and ribs, lengthening and shortening to the horses motion.

Next comes the armature. For the smaller horses, such as Humphrey, I literally just twisted wire together. For the bigger horses, like Mistral I have used a plumbers T-join, a screw pipe and a flange.
I thread wire through the pipe and hold it using the wax clay, nothing permanent as I want to be able to reuse the join for the next horse. I then measure and mark the joints with a Sharpie, then bend them to the pose.

This was Whispers armature;

The next most important photo is the pose shot. Mistral flying.

More soon...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Having done the Diary of Heartbreaker, and seen him though to his completion, I found it an excellent way to keep motivated and on track.

I am now going to follow the journey of an original sculpt. From the highs and lows of sculpting him, to the waste mould, artists proof and final casting. Hope you all enjoy the ride as much as I will ;D

I have an artists exhibition on the 25th and 26th of March, an event put on by my local council where people can tour around the Shire visiting all the local studios and galleries of working artists. It is a brilliant event and I am blessed to have been asked to exhibit at one of my neighbouring artist's studios. This is something I am very very excited about! For the weekend I want to have an almost complete bust, and another at least half finished full horse. Enter Mistral...

Mistral is a commissioned portrait of a New Forest x TB eventing horse in full flight over a jump. I started him April 2010, unfortunately with a new wax clay instead of my usual Chavant. I found the clay too hard and crumbly with no 'stickability'. In short, I disliked it intensely.

So Mistral was shelved for other more pressing projects and commissions. Six months ago (ish) I started again, this time with Apoxie Sculpt. But Mistral just did not want to talk to me, which is dang disappointing as it would have made his moulding soooooo much cheaper!

Today inspiration struck! Why not mix the Klean Klay that I use to sculpt my bust portraits and the hard horrid crumbly mess of wax clay together. I love my Klean Klay with a capital L.O.V.E. On it's up side,  it is firm, sticky, holds the most wonderful detail and smooths like a dream *sighs with delight*. On it's downside is is oily, slick and too soft for a full body sculpt *boo-hiss*

Mixing the two together has given me a hard, waxy clay, that is sticky, smooth and holds detail like Klean Klay. Yum!

This is Mistral today. Poor crumbly poneh :( Time to fix him up :)