Friday, September 30, 2011

Cantering Warmblood progress

So I believe it was one or two posts back that you saw a peek at the Warmblood I'm working on. I've probably got about 42 hours, give or take one or two, into him at this point. Don't mind the cracking. I tend to seal a freshly completed section with a heat gun before moving on to the next so as to make sure I don't accidentally bump and smudge something I didn't want to. I should take the time to just bake him and then move on to fully get him cooked instead of hardening just the top layer but well, these little tiny cracks are easy to fill on the resin master.

This side of the tail is pretty much done. I'll come back with Apoxie, which is a stronger substance that adheres to hard surfaces much better, to smooth some unworked spots out when I get the resin master copy made.

You'll see that I just have this side of the tail, the chest, and 1.5 front legs to go! Male parts I'll put on the resin master as well. Same with shoes and veins.

<3 his face! The wrinkles will calm down during the master smoothing process.

These wrinkles are better. The blob there is a chest muscle waiting to be worked in. It won't poke out nearly so much later.

You'll also notice I went with the 40 tiny hunter braids. I really debated this as the look is not my particular cup of tea. However in the end they won out because one - he's correctly braided for pretty much every discipline requiring them, and two - they'll be *very* easy to sand off for mane resculpting of the production pieces. I'm also contemplating two versions - loose mane and the braided. I would love to hear people's thoughts on this!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Playing Dr. Frankenstein

Appropriate considering what holiday is next upon us! Apparently I've been subconsciously inspired to chop something up. And I happened to spy my next plastic victim on the shelf!

Poor Ringo! There is something just morbidly satisfying about slicing a plastic into many parts and scorching it with my heat gun. Considering this was all I did in my early teens when I was first learning to customize, I'm wondering why my parents weren't more concerned.

I am in for a big overhaul with this guy. For starters, those two legs who's position is undergoing some serious changing will need the musculature sanded down near completely and redone to correctly suit the movement. The left shoulder will get the most work. The neck would just be easier to completely resculpt so I trashed that to make room for the wire and apoxie. I'll have to fill the head in too to make sure I don't trap that air where it could implode the piece. Besides the movement changes to the piece, I plan on going back and adding in the detail that was woefully lost when the mold was made. The body I'm going to try to stay more true to Kathi's lovely style, but the mane and tail will be me.

You can see a quick photoshop sketch of where I'm going with this guy. I was inspired by a photo I saw of a real Saddlebred. I believe this new pose/look will make him more versatile in the performance ring...and I do like me a versatile horse. I'm thinking I'll complete the look with a sandy bay tobiano - maybe about 70% white? Not entirely locked in on that sandy bay, but pinto definitely.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some photogenic studio updates

I'm due (long over due in fact) for a web update - not just the gallery but the in studio page as well. I don't have the time for that large of a project yet, so I'm taking the quick way out meantime with a little blurb of studio projects.

Remember several years back when I did this guy? Well, his owner and I had the most unfortunate luck of this being a rare case of a leaking resin that doesn't rear its ugly head until well after the paint has been applied. We traded the bad body back to Lynn for another and are having a second attempt at this guy. He's almost finished, just need to add more gold to the highlights and then add the dark to the other side.

Another one of my long time residents. This Lorenz is finally up on the assembly line and looking good in his dapple gray coat! Little fleabites are being added to the flank, shoulder, elbow and neck areas right now. His legs are blocked in but still need work on this side. The other side needs everything. :)

Two Reiners on commission are just about finished! The top needs his m/t and hoofies completed and I'm waiting on a Rio Rondo order of shoes to give him that finishing touch.  The bottom just needs to have his feet finished and he's ready to be sealed and sent home!

These next two are sales pieces that I'm squeezing in. Ikran, above, has been getting little hairs drawn on here and there for probably the last year. He's not very high on the priority list as I'm working more on commissions and resin orders. Since you last saw him in an earlier blog post, I've added more hairing work and then a layer of oils over top of that hairing detail to set everything in. I'm extremely pleased with the way he is coming out. I love this little sculpture, which certainly helps. It's probably my favorite foal resin out there today, though Morgen's Little Man Mango is right up there with him.

 This guy however, I should have done in the next couple of days. I <3 mini's. Freshly released, he's Sarah's Little Lonestar and I'm trying a new way of painting on him. I had an idea for a "short cut" of sorts but wanted to make sure the look would still be the same and just as nice. So far, on the two horses I've tried it out on it's working out great! This means faster production, which is always a huge benefit! Still need to add the shadows and blanket on the other side and add the white markings on the legs and face. So far he's sailing along though.

And I'm trying to integrate a plastic piece in now and then too. I like the change in medium to kind of spritz things up a little anyway. This gal is more performance oriented with her neck tucked and head on the bit. I've added braids and squared out her tail more. The braids need to be "dechunkified" and some smoothing needs to happen, but after that I think I'm ready for painting. Still no clues on color for her yet. I'm thinking a medium chestnut but I'm not nailed to it. Suggestions are always welcome. :D

Also in the studio is a new sculpture project. I'm almost finished with the little Welsh pony mare, but I had to start this guy before I exploded with pent up creativity. Another warmblood? Fraid so. Why? A few reasons. One, I had a friend comment on how odd it was that while I was an "English type" rider (dressage/eventing) I had a lot of western style resins. I thought it funny when I realized how right she was. So, I'm endeavoring to give Depeche a buddy. Another reason for the second dressage oriented piece is completed business related. When I can afford to and take the time away from work, I ride at a high-end dressage barn. Let's just say I believe there's the potential for some jobs there. I very much want to branch out into bronze work and start focusing on commissioned sculpture.  So, I need a portfolio piece that showcases the recent skill level I've reached that would appeal to the buyer I'm trying to attract. 

I have been wanting to do this pose for years now actually. It's a bit different from what you normally see in the model world. He is cantering, but he's only got one weight-bearing leg at this time in the gait. There are so many trotting ones I didn't want to go that direction, and I still wanted a versatile horse for other events besides dressage so I didn't want to sculpt a very specific movement like the half-pass or pirouette. And while we have a lot of horses in the canter with three weight-bearing legs like Depeche, there really aren't mane with just one. I believe that's because of the need for either a base or pegs. This guys will most likely have two. One in his right back leg, and then one in the left front.

So, yes the update was a bit long, but in that there were lots of photos to see, I'm sure you'll forgive me. ;) There are still many more horses in progress, but their paint was drying or they were at another otherwise impossible to photograph stage.