Monday, August 24, 2009

Just playing with hair ideas today

While I make sure both sides of her face are matched up in a photo shoot done for my own comparison needs.

Anyhow, the differences became a LOT clearer to me when I flipped the images into mirror form and compared. A tool I've found to be extremely valuable in determining where to go next.

I'm a little rushed tonight but I figured I'd at least share the hair ideas I played with. Where to drap the hair really makes a huge different imo. Flowing back wasn't working in real life. Did I mention that? I actually had gone and sculpted it, several different ways, and just didn't like any of it. Too dragon-esque. Soooooo this is the direction I'm leaning towards now...

Not entirely pleased with the wet-strand look on the left forelock but then again, I was just playing when I got to this part. :)

Once again, I'm taking hasty pictures and not paying nearly enough attention to some things like distortion. Well heck... do I ever get undistorted pics? (blarg!) lol! ;)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Well now that the cat's out of the bag..

I can share Fenwick. :)

I have been working on him too since late this spring...

his full gallery is here;

His presales (only 20 sold) came and went yesterday which means we (me but it all goes to the casters to fund the rest of the RXR run) took names and checks/MO are going to be sent to the casters to pay for the whole shebang.

I could talk about how challenging it is to change a pose to make it "new" without messing up the anatomy. Lord knows that some of that WAS a factor in what seems like a simple custom taking months to do... despite how minor the changes seem, modifiying the muscling on the neck, back and belly to match up with the modified angles is hard. Especially since his neck was carefully worked out the first time & now it's in a very "locked" pose where the neck's undermuscles are braced. I don't have a lot of in progress photos. I do have these;

I changed more after that but you can see where a few of the cuts were made. That was the first step anyhow. Before that I... boiled him to twist the neck.

I've been boiling plastic horses since I was 10. It really used to upset my mom to see this... I would be all kinds of excited about my lawn mowing money... I would take the transit bus downtown after meeting up with a friend. Then we'd buy something at the hobby store. By the end of the day when mom came home, I'd already decided I wanted to change it... I'd be there with a steak knife cutting nicks behind joints or in the neck.. and/or holding the horse with tongs over a giant angrily boiling pot of water. It really might have frightened the parent who didn't understand creative mania. Might have looked like some precursor to animal torture. Fortunatlely she understood that it was merely the first step before I dragged out the oil paints and began to really make a mess of it all...

Exhibit A:

"20th Century Fox" who stood no chance in my home. He probably was discontinued the next year. That always seemed to happen to the ones I chose to mutilate. The one OF I had kept pristine was one which I'd known was discontinued when I lucked out in finding it for sale..

Anyhow, here he is over 20 years later. The hair from my dog "Rory" still looks the same. Oh man, I'll never forget tacking the hair on. After giving the poor Irish Setter a (very very bad) haircut I sat down with some super glue and a sharp plastic tool. I then promptly managed to start drilling a smoking hole into MY HAND (! eek!) when the plastic implement slipped and pushed against my skin. ... I still play with the dreaded cyano-acrylamide ester and yes... it still does this sort of smoking thing when protenacious matter encounters it. It still terrifies me almost as much now as then. I avoid the fumes (they can't be good) ..that's some scary chemical right there..! His leg (remember the chopping?) was finally repaired with masking tape & wood glue. 20 years later and it's still a "good" repair (well it hasn't fallen off at least - lol!).

A closer look at that..

Next up we have a Morganglanz breyer where I clearly ran out of patience trying to restore the broken ears so I nubbed em down.. (I dunno what I was thinking but it's really funny to me now). Apparently I've also run out of mohair and tried to make the best of that too (family being blonde and the dog obviously being a red head..).

We're going to see that I liked making props here, eh? The die was apparently cast loooong ago.

The foal here was one of my all time favorites of my motley photoshow string. The mare however has a finishwork evolution I've noticed in my pictures.. she started with darker points and I guess I kept going back in an effort to grey her out more. Black hooves were apparently the fashion. (sure sure yeah, that was it!)

This was one of my most ambitious customizations of the time. He started out standing. I'm sure the plastic collectors here will recognize the OF foal mold. I remember trying to make pegs so he would stand but the pegs never stayed in. This issue also haunts me still (engineering feats of top heavy loads). I'll never forget the sublime delight when my nicks and tucks and boiling all worked out as planned. "Mwhooohohahahaahaaaa! It's alive! It's alive!!!"

You can't really see the horse here too well but I just find it SO fun that Brenda & steed are about to crash headlong through a fence....

DUDE -> I had a serious addition to props THEN. The saddle is borrowed as well. I believe that english and the upcoming western saddle were both from Sue Rowe. They are still "not too bad" in terms of scale and aspects of the way the leather is cut. I made the jump. And the flowers. I really have an addiction to playing with this stuff and don't want to talk about the "uncessary" props I've made lately. ;)

Here's another boiled wonder;

Also my first attempt at acrylics (the others were oils).

And lastly, my firstest. The PAS I later had to go out and get another copy of in OF (because - don't die) he was the rarer black sock version... With that AWESOME Sue Rowe set. He didn't pop out looking like this at first when I repainted him. He went through an evolution constantly being painted and painted again as well. Somehow along the way that left forefoot broke off. You can't really see it but there he has a pinned leg. probably sticky waxed on b/c I remember always needing to pop his little peg leg back into place.

Oh! His tail also was insertable too. Poor fellow. As for his rarity, he's not the only one amongst these that apparently was a less common variation. I didn't know all these things until a few years ago. So I must never stop appreciating my childhood efforts. To be honest, the creativity and thrills over the show wins (nothing major but to me it was huge) was more valuable than knowing that I'd lucked out and bought horses that would be worth quite a bit in 2 decades. So I definitely don't regret it.

Anyhow, as for Fenwick, I'd rather not relive every step of it all... lol! He leaves today for the casters who are on vacation, hopefully to be back by the end of the week. He's no longer for sale through me - from here on in he'll be the marketing domain of those running Region 10 Regionals. I'll have a couple of copies for myself to paint up..

More to come soon... in the meantime however, I've got a lot of catch up to do today... (must not make jumps.. must not.. must not...) ;)

PS afterthought... I'd really like to take a second to pause with gratitude for my parents. Both of whom helped me to do these projects (probably to prevent me from burning and stabbing myself too much). They always (both being friends of the arts) really gave me great latitude in my hair brained schemes... And a few weeks ago my mom came over for the day (she lives a few states away now), and humored me while I showed her my most recent prop efforts and tack (and dioramas) online. My father's eyes aren't what they used to be but he still finds it all interesting too. Thanks guys! (cyber hugs parents) I can't imagine what it must be like to find your kid terrifyingly obsessed with these sorts of things... (8-o

Monday, August 3, 2009

Other things coming soon... :)

It was just announced yesterday about the NAN trophy contest awards. .. well, that I am runner up, which means I can go ahead now and publicize this fellow! (he's been a secret that I've only shown folks in person for feedback)

Soooo in the not too distant future I will be offering him up for sale via my yahoogroup... once I've got a new background actually attached (for to stand nicely in display stands).. :)

There are a couple of other things I'm wrapping up that I've discussed some expectations of over there on the yahoogroup too. And I also admitted that I'm woefully behind on updating of photos. At least I *have* photos of the finished horses recently completed and mailed off to their owners, I just haven't taken the time to resize and get them online. I've got quite a few more in progress so back to work. Aside from Iaret below (who has gotten a good deal of work since her photo there too), I also have something else that's a surprise that I will be limiting news of to my yahoogroup for at least a brief period too.

I've been on the fence about making this blog a mirror of all sales offered through the yahoogroup but I am not ready to do so. There are things I post there and only there. Second quality castings for example. More recently a commission offer... and also when I decide to set a flat price on a painted resin for sale, I offer those up to the group rather than take the sale public over on MH$P (if they didn't sell I would I suppose). The last one was a Sarah Mink "Spinnaker" named "Patrick" who was sold through my group this past April; He won a Top Ten in workmanship at NAN a few months later btw (so happy for his owner!) :D

RIGHT, so the point being, I know of 2 persons I've met who subscribe to blogs but do NOT do yahoogroups. I'm wondering if this population is growing... well, the segement of the population who don't do yahoogroups at least. Other than keeping it pretty restricted to my posts alone, primarily sales info and trying to stay non-chatty... However some artists are utilizing their blogs over yahoogroup sales and notices, I am curious to know more about JQ Public's views/experiences/preference. I like that posts here could be formatted nicer. I do not want to make it one of those restricted viewing blogs. And I prefer to keep this where I can post something I'm wildly excited about but which is hardly an "action item" for customers per say.. :D

This isn't really a "vote" for a choice poll. Just a rambling about what's on my plate and some things I've been mulling over. So far no changes. Mostly I say so in case someone cares to bring to my attention a reason why yahoogroups are utterly evil! :D Hey, I've seen some pretty annoying issues with them over the past decade that I've been a subscriber... Every time a distribution glitch springs up especially I pause to reflect on the wisdom of using them. It's only that managing a mailing list with any other 'last name' tends to get picked up and tossed out by more mail servers. I wouldn't want to dump a means of sales notices that works 98% of the time. Mirror it maybe. Not dump. Back to work for me now! I can dwell on this while my fingers are doing more than translating my meandering thoughts. Sorry to babble guys! :D