Tag Archives: dapples

Back to Finishwork!

Hurrah hurrah! I am finally working with color again. It seemed like forever prepping these guys… I’m not sure if that’s because I’m a cruddy prepper, a perfectionist, they were really rough, or some combination of those. I haven’t had much time for models but all of it has been prep, prep, and prep some more. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve put 15 hours of prepping in on these two.

But yesterday, with primer smooth, pin holes filled, and veins applied, they were ready to go. I got about 2-3 layers on each through the afternoon and evening.

My Hale resin is going to be a blue roan. Right now he’s what I think of as an “Impressionist roan”- he looks more or less like a roan, but the body is an approximation of the hair mix instead of actually hair detail. Since I’m going to do hair-by-hair roaning on him, I think I’ll do a bit darker with the pastels.

I added some brown to his coat too, which I think really makes the roan even richer. Some black roans are very black and white, while others have a lot of brown tons, even though they are clearly not bay roans. I assume it’s something like sun-fading on the black hairs mixing with the roaning to make a brown-highlighted black roan.

breton 2-16-13

My Fritz resin is also getting clothes! He was a beautiful and generous gift from Caryn and I’m super excited to see him come to life. I was eager to find him a name too, since Fritz is the name of one of my other horses. His new name is Martouf, and he’s a Warlander (Friesian x Andalusian).

Martouf is going to be a dapple rose grey. I’ve only sketched in his mane and tail in acrylics here- there will be a lot more grey and variation in there eventually, but I like to have an approximation as I go to help me get the body color where I want it. I’m using a sharpened eraser to do the dapples, which is pretty tedious, but I do like the effect so far. The hardest thing on him might be knowing when to stop adding color, since he is supposed to be nearly grayed out.

martouf 2-16-13

The fun continues today! I was thinking about leaving the house, but while writing this post it started to downpour furiously. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to stay indoors :)

Tis the Season

I’m back from New York and working hard on the several handmade gifts I’m doing this year. I usually do a mix of homemade and bought gifts, depending on time, ideas, and general motivation. One thing I’m making this year is a portrait of my friend Liddy’s new horse, Violet.

violet portrait pix - right

Just before I left for Thanksgiving, the model was starting to move from the awkward early pastel layers to at least the vicinity of realism. She has a ways to go, but I’m feeling confident that I’ll have her done in time for Christmas.

Here’s Violet after about 5 layers of pastel:

violet progression 01

At this point I was having trouble visualizing her because of the white primer mane and tail, so I switched from pastels to acrylics for a bit. I always find that useful for the final pastel stages because it helps me see where how the colors will look on the finished horse.

violet progression 03

Ah, she’s starting to look like Violet now! Here she is with a few more layers in both media:

violet progression 02

I’m pretty pleased with how she’s turning out. She’s a gorgeous horse, and while I know I can’t do her color justice I at least want to achieve a resemblance of her beautiful coat. I think I’m getting there- she needs a number of layers in both pastel and acrylic, but I’m relieved to have her looking at least vaguely Violet-like by early December. Hopefully by the end of this weekend she’ll be even closer to done.

What About Markings?

I am nearing completion on several models, including my dapple bay G3 Cantering Warmblood. The horse whose color he is loosely based on has no white markings, but I can’t decide if I should give him any.

Nightfox in his current state, with no white markings.

Marvelous Intrigue

Many of my model horses have minimal or no markings, and I thought maybe I should break the mold. A bit of searching online and I found this gorgeous Morgan stallion, Marvelous Intrigue. Maybe I should use his hind socks and a face marking- although I’d go for a thinner blaze.

I like to use image editing software to help plan out my customs (that could be a whole other post full of pictures) so I used the picture of Nightfox and put on some markings.

…with a star

…with hind socks and a star

…and with hind socks and a stripe or thin blaze

Thoughts? I’ll think about it for a few days and maybe put a poll on Fallen Leaves. Meanwhile I’ve got a bunch of horses to finish up that all need little nit-picky details like glossed eyes or nose pinking.

The importance of details on a WIP

I’ve been sneaking in about an hour a day in the studio and today I have three horses with drying fixative sitting on my stove.

The two on the left are done, modge podged for sealer, and now just getting a final coat or two of Matte Finish. The G3 WB is a pastel WIP.

Yesterday I did something very important: I painted (in acrylics) the hooves, eyes, mane, and tail of two in-progress customs who are nearing completion on their pastel coats. One of these is Nightfox, the G3 Warmblood above. For me, painting in these details around this stage (when the horse’s color is 1/3-1/2 way done) is crucial. Without at least “sketching” these colors in, I can’t tell if I have really gotten the main body color the way I want it. Yesterday it was hard to tell how Nightfox was turning out, because he still had a primer-white mane and tail and white hooves. It was visually awkward and distracting, so I couldn’t judge where I needed to go with the pastelling. Now, with dark brown mane and tail, black eyes, and grey hooves, I can really see the bay he is turning out to be.

As you can see, when I do this first cover in basic acrylics I don’t worry about perfect coverage or tone (look at the bare spot where his tail meets his haunches). All I need is something close enough to how the finished product will look so that I can get the rest of his color where I want it. Then I go back and concentrate on the details, like adding growth lines on the hooves or better tones in the tail.

On a side note, I really like this mold. For one, it’s a new mold that needs minimal prepping. Two, it really looks like a horse that would be pleasant to ride- he moves like horses do in little girl dreams. And thirdly, that tail is darn handy for holding while you paint!

Failed experiments, lessons learned.

Tonight’s scene

What didn’t work: outlining dapples with pastel pencils

What did work: using a rubber art eraser to remove the pencil without damaging the original (sealed) pastels coats

What’s next: the next layer of pastels, and dapples detailed with small brushes