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": http://www.sustainabledressage.net/collection/true_collection.php ), 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).