Saturday, June 30, 2007

So not worth posting this but here ya go..

So terrifically useless almost - these sanded w/primer pics. I inverted it (like a film negative) because believe it or not, it was harder to comprehend flipped the other way - darker helps).

Soooooo since the show she's undergone a good deal of beating upon.
- changed neck length (lengthed a tad - well a good 1/4-1/8"! but also added more to the underside so this pic doesn't show)
-more body in spots, less in a few others
-serious endeavors into neck muscling now
-some facial proportions being tackled finally - she's even starting to get the other side of her head built (like she has 2 eyes now) ;)
-man, I dunno - a lot. Aaand I'm still on the fence as to if this is how I'd like her body type to be. ALTHOUGH, I really think she ought to be heavier, since I'm aiming for draft cross and the lighter types don't convey the power as much. Like I said earlier - she's not going to be an exact portrait. In fact I used to switch the names of Hazel and Barry (the two mares owned by Sue), and call them Basil and Harry... and then we'd joke that she owns "Harriet". I am toying with the idea of calling this gal Harriet. I'm also probably spelling that wrong but I'm not going to take the time to look it up. ;)

OH! I put a wire instead of the long clear peg. I kept breaking off the pegs and they're expensive!!! She'll ultimately have to be on a base. The option for a peg is easy enough for owners and I'll probably include instructions on how to make one simply -- but frankly, I envision myself breaking off them far too much on castings in my own handling. After an inch, a peg just doesn't work.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Primered for show tomorrow..

She has only one eye at the moment. All details on the "off" (left) side are completely rough. I like to focus on the side that's giving me the most trouble sometimes and then use measuring tools & photoshop flipped print outs to flip the horse's details around to match up the second side. I didn't even bother photographing the lack of eye. It's kinda creepy - ala horror movie effects when someone has their mouth disappear, ya know? lol!

What's kind of entertaining to me here is that I primered her gray and then waved a white coat from an arms length away to help the details "pop" out better. But in the photo that doesn't show up at all. It just looks like the kind of lighting set up a photoshoot should use. Frankly, I'm too rushed today to bother with that (dragging out all the lamps and hooking em up). Fwiw. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Been busy!

(now that I have easier dremeling back) aaaand want to get back to it so just 2 quick pics for today. :)

(btw, I guess I didn't mention it before but the pink showing through on the newest armature fellow is nail polish... I took the skeleton "bones" and painted them pink so I'd know when I was carving into bone territory later on.) :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I cheered myself up with this..


Since it's really silly to go to Home Depot on Father's Day I strengthened up this armature a bit. I gotta take a picture of this boarder's boy when he's standing at the gate in the morning. He looks just like this. Swivel headed. Hopefully the armature will be firm enough tomorrow to address the weak hind pasterns. :-p

Look: spooky vision! (any SP fans?)

Sad... Dremel Stylus conked out. :(

What else can I say there? We opened up the housing and tried to see if it was suffering a bad connection. It had it's moments when it came back to life. It's definitely fully charged. What else can you do? They don't build them to work for several hours a day .. daily. And I have to admit I am really far too attached to it now - it's light weight and ease of handling make it so user friendly for medium to very fine level work.

I have the other one (forget the name) with the long exension and pen-like hand held too. That thing has no power tho. Pft! Good for super fine detail but that's about it. :-P

Anyhow, so amusing pics. You can really see how I'm attempting to address the overall abdominal shape more now (which is where I'm cracking into the foam at every turn...). My next work is a LOT smaller and I don't plan to use foam this time. Solid epoxie all the way. So tired of this. So as you can see - in full light it looks like a marble horse;

Thus why I prime. Apoxie sculpt layers do this anyhow but this is rather extreme.

I also remembered to save links again for a few more fun tummy shots (well there's my focus anyhow);

Friday, June 15, 2007

And now for something totally different..

While Hazel sits a drying (curing really)..

I've been getting so annoyed lately with this "challenge" of saving an old armature (to be fair, it's just that I'm constantly thwarted in my refining by bits of the old armature that no longer apply)... anyhow, so in the meantime (btwn hole filling) I just had to commit another idea I've had to form. I have a Morgan gelding boarder at my barn who is just SO dynamic. The chiro/accupuncture gal this weekend nick-named him "Gumby". He's just always so "on".

Anyhow, so here is how you are really supposed to start a sculpture. Carefully measure everything and then begin with boney points. I like to tape together card board and a firm paper (good adhesion properties) and then use small amounts of epoxie until it's stable enough to stand on it's own. I do so dig this stage though.

And in other news, a ton of links..

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'll bet you've never seen this trick before..

I doubt I'm the first person to come up with it but it sure works for me.. I shall now share my favorite refinement "trick".

Start with a photo that shows the horse in the current state you'd like to fix;

Make a duplicate layer and sit down with photoshop - start playing back and forth until you can achieve the changes;

Then overlay photo 1 (the original) with photo 2 (fiddled with) on top - invert the colors on photo 2 and then take the transparency down to 50%. ALL of your changes now pop out clearly;

You can now print out the "ideal" and this weird looking "changes only shown" photo. Sometimes it helps to make another semi-transparent layer of just outlines over the changes so you can tell what is where. Here though my overlays aren't quite as mysterious - I can see the outline well enough. If I do a perfect one (just as I've described above only - I did additional fiddling to see the horse's shape here) tho the changes just look like random marks on a gray screen.

Did that make sense? lol! Well like I said, it really works for me. It makes it very easy to see exactly where I want to hack around next and results in a lot less messing about trying to figure out what's wrong.
Since I'd sought out those critiques a week or so back, I've gotten really really awesome feedback. Keen and extremely helpful observations on where she's weak (for what I've intended) and her stronger points (which helps to know becuase to be honest, a lot of times I can easily kill what was good about a work).

Aaaaaand in other news, yesterday I got out to a hobby show (that's what all that productivity in the painting area was about!).. and, aside from my 3 newly painted horses doing well, got to see some of my client's horses doing well too. Hey, it helps to inspire! It really does. :) See in our area we have some brutal competition; astounding collections of talented artist's work. I obviously took these photos primarily for my own galleries but I did get a couple of those other amazing works in there. I have to admit I wasn't too diligent about it however. Remember that I've seen many of these horses already. I just plain forgot a lot of times! I couldn't look when they were judging the call back overalls. We just had one call back - for all the Artist's Resins (20-something classes). I was sooo pessimistic that I'd even get a top ten out of 40 some odd horses.

Yay! ->

(that is a sculpture I did that I've recently finished painting.. and some of my clients got them too, whole gallery is here -> and I'm just thrilled for them - congrats to all!)

Primarily tho? Shows to me are about socializing. I had more horses than usual (6 - chuckles, in a realm where people bring 20-50 usually?). It was a challenge just to make sure I showed up for my classes on my 4hrs of sleep. I get too excited before shows. I don't get out of the house often ya know. ;)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Productivity galore! :D

Well while I waited for critiques and digested what folks had to say, I went off and have done some painting. :) The larger (Lippizan) horse here was sculpted by Tracy Caller and is unfortunately too rough to be considered "LSQ" by most collectors. In fact I had to write Tracy when I got him and find out what his brand was supposed to be. He was sold to me as "unpainted" but in fact he'd been painted many a time and was primered over with giant drips. I sanded/preserved what I could. It's a rather rare piece: she told me only 18 had been sold. Anyhow, I won't invest the time to "save" him to hobby standards but I'll enjoy him all the same after all these years of having him tucked in the back of my painting cabinate. ;) Meanwhile, that little pinto jumping fellow is another one of my sculptures "Flitwick" that I will be selling someday soon I hope.

But back to the sculpting! There was unanimous feedback on a few areas - the neck/shoulder tie in's especially. I was feeling that too so I was thrilled to hear some thoughts on where/how the problem originated. Again much of it goes back to the continual artist's dilemma of "real" verses "ideal". At any rate, one thing that isn't so technical but more asthetic/artistic was the set of the head. In art we want to exaggerate to some degree... but in doing so we also, as my favorite biomechanic author harps on (! Teresa Sandin/aka "pikeur": ), want to AVOID too much exaggeration as it can portray/glamorize uncomfortable horses. I've really always "had a thing" about that. A real horse owning friend teases me all the time about how my cranky mustage is "doomed to live in a perpetual state of misery forever now". lol! I'm not too worried about that per say, but don't want to create horses that are having their mouths sawed off either. So I've been shying from the "straining" look more than I should with this work I think. Due to morality, does that make sense? Anyhow, all the same, I braced myself and braced her so she's in strong contact. Ironically enough this isn't an unnatural position - meaning horses DO take on this pose at liberty. I just worry too much. That's the bottom line I think. ;)

I like it. Here we have some in progress pics of that and a REALLY rare shot of the real working area of my studio (it's laughably cluttered).

and Humpty Dumpty goes back together again...

Friday, June 1, 2007

Critique time again...

So I have really buckled down to get pics that give me (and those giving critiques) a good handle on the situation. I'm in a hurry here but moving on to the gallery anyhow;

(fwiw - don't even look at the head/ears at the moment. I've barely gotten to them!)...