Thursday, 29 March 2012

Inspiration for Todd

I found the photo of one of the first medallions I had ever sculpted, about three years ago now. My knowledge of horse anatomy was so limited as were my sculpting skills, and I used a simple hard-drying clay. It really wasn't thought through! I still have him and a while back before Christmas I used him for my spare paint that was left in my airbrush. Here is a photo of him:
On comparison to Todd, who was sculpted three years or so later, it is clear how much I have improved in my knowledge for art and sculpting, as well as materials... I definitely used the wrong clay last time and I had sculpting tools the second time round!
It is nice to reflect over past pieces and realise how far along you have come. :-)


Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Art of Anatomy

I recently acquired a horse anatomy book to help me learn more about the horses' movement and muscle structure, with what goes on beneath their skin. This will really help me develop as a sculpting artist in order to get the conformation of the animal right! The book came last week and was recommended to me by some hobbyists, How your Horse moved by Gillian Higgins.
Even if you don't want to sculpt I would still recommend this book as the pictures in it are wonderful, the horses in the book have their bone structure painted onto them and they are doing different things from walking to going over jumps. It really makes you think about all the bones that piece this animal together and how they work, it is all very fascinating to me.
My Andalusian sculpture has been feeling unloved at this point in time and he needed some attention, so today in my spare time I printed off two photos of him and I decided to draw the bone structures on top of the images, to see where I am accurate and to identify areas that need improving. It turns out that the side that I am most familiar with when it comes to drawing horses is the better side! This is the main reason I decided to sculpt Gallega, the Andalusian medallion; I used to find it almost impossible to draw horses that were facing to the right, but now my techniques and artistic style has improved such that I am able to, and Gallega is turning out well!

This is the first image I drew over:
Doing this has really compelled me to wanting to get him finished as he looks so noble and elegant in this drawing! This is the other side, where the hind leg was giving me trouble. I have studied the bone structure now and with the help of my new acquisition I should find sculpting this side a log more easier than before.
Sometimes the changes do not look all that big, but these changes make all the difference in a sculpture. I really want to get my sculpture side to the hobby off the ground and I think I am slowly getting there, Todd is going ok and people seem to like him and I am receiving some positive words about my second medallion in the making, so I am pleased so far. I better get cracking on finishing this guy then!!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Southern Roundup Live

This was my first live show of the year, and it was a great start! The hall was only an hour or so away and so it was less time rushing around in the morning (and I could sleep longer!). We arrived in good time at the hall for me to unpack my models and get my performance entries set up... That was a nightmare! I realised why doing performance wasn't necessarily my forte.

The performance was first and I placed my cross country entry onto the table and waited by chatting to the others. I was so pleased when it had been judged and I had this little certificate next to my entry!!
All of the blood, sweat and tears was worth it! Wee Jay got extra carrots for that.

I also had my little western set up, I suddenly realised I could enter him in the Western ridden class so I chucked him in it (not literally, don't worry!) and that was also worth the while...
And he did the same in the western performance too! I am surprised they could see much on him. I jokily brought a magnifying glass with me just in case!!
Wasn't he a good boy! He later got a 6th placing in the halter class which is good seeing as there were some other lovely entries. The day continued and I got loads of placings, I think only one horse didn't place in the end. I didn't have many horses with me though, next time I plan on bringing loads! So the European Extravaganza better watch out...

For the lunch break, there were two fun classes, one for St. Patricks day and the other was the best painted medallion. I entered Todd of course in the medallion class. Meanwhile, my friend Cat of Chestnut Ridge set up the most amazing St. Patricks day scene with her julips and even had a soundtrack!
In the medallion class, there was one other entry, this beautiful one:
But the judge couldn't decide on the winner for the medallion class, and so she gave us both a first place certificate and said we can get a free entry into her next show! I am just so happy, thank you so much to Yvonne!
I was so pleased. I also donated a Todd to the raffle who went home with someone and sold another, so he is doing well for a first sculpture. I just need to finish Gallega who is nearing her completion and then finish the Andalusian! I got an anatomy book finally so I will be able to finish him well...

The show continued and we finished really early, shortly after 2pm! It was very well run and it was relaxed at the same time, I look forward to the next one and I shall bombard the table with more horses, I make that a promise!


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Gallega Update

It feels like, after a long time, Gallega is finally speaking to me. after being advised on her neck, I took a huge chunk off and she is finally looking like a proper medallion, and not so far from the finish line. At first I was pleased with the sculpting I had done onher face but it just didn't seem to match with the rest of the body.Since my last post I have fixed her eye and the bridge of her nose, and the ear has been sorted out. I then focused on her mane to get it nice and wavy, and much more detailed. She looked like this a few days ago:
Then I dared to take off the bottom corner of her mane. Her neck has always been too long and whilst I have been taking bits off at a time to shorten it, it wasn't enough and just didn't look natural. So I was brave and sliced off the corner. It has already made such a difference:
Here is a close up of her mane:
I am getting excited now, her journey is soon over as I continue to learn from this lovely lady!

And a random note, I have finally created a Facebook page for my studio website. This can be found by clicking here. I will be adding more photos to it over time but if you are a social networker then feel free to like my page.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Preparation for the Southern Roundup

Well, time has flown, and this Saturday is the Southern Roundup show! I am excited although I have very few entries for the show in comparison to other people, but that doesn't matter. I am more looking forward to seeing everyone again and their horses!This year is my first year that I will be properly entering performance, I have entered performance once but this was with an arabian costume and I literally plonked my model on the table with his tack. This time I am really trying and have two set ups!

The first entry is a micro mini set up (yep... You read correctly!) with my reiner doing a sliding stop. I briefly set it up the other day so that I know what I need to do on the day. This picture has lots of flaws I am aware of! I will take pictures of the set up when it is out in the ring on the day.
Apart from that major saddle slippage, it looks good in that photo! This is the set up itself:
And I finally finished painting the rider up for my Wee Jay cross country entry. He isn't the best but I have been running out of time... I think he is sufficient!
The overall set up isn't the best and there are people that have been doing this for years with amazing dioramas, but for a first go I think it is ok. Again, these photos were just a run through of what I need to put together for the show on the day and so there are faults but it is just to get the general idea.
Wish me luck on the day!! I will also be bringing some Todds along to sell... I am looking forward to my first show of 2012!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Stressed Relievers

Since last friday or so, my eating pattern has just gone out the window and I am really struggling with stress, anxiety and consequently eating. I had this last year, and it is very frightening. To lost half a stone (approximately 3 to 4 kilos) in two weeks is also discomforting and I wish not to go through it again... I have a lot of work not studio-related that I need to do but when I work on my sculptures and projects, it is in my free time where I allow myself to unwind.

I am feeling very hungry but too stressed to eat as I type this and the fear of me losing more weight is also making the stress worse. I know that this blog is for my studio bits and bobs but sometimes it is better to talk about your feelings and make them known. Mental health is very overlooked these days and I sometimes feel my problems go unnoticed when I am seriously struggling. It feels right now that my projects are keeping me going!! This phase will pass soon but right now I am not feeling comfortable. :-(

I worked on Gallega some more on Sunday night, I have been refining her mane and she is really starting to look like the elegant little lady she is meant to be, now. Her profile is annoying me still slightly and so she is still far from being complete, I still seek constructive criticism on her...
I am very pleased with her progress though. My friend I am living with right now suggested how amazing she would look as a unicorn and so when I cast copies of this lady, guess what I will be customising some as!

Speaking of customising, I pulled out a Todd from the box and I worked on him a bit. Just for a bit of fun, I sculpted on a mane that resembles that of a fjord pony. I seem to have a thing for fjord ponies this year!
I used apoxie sculpt, a new batch. my old batch is about two or three years old now and is rock hard, it was such a nice feeling to open a new packet with such soft sculpting material!!
I also plan on repainting these two Schleich models to represent the Fjord pony. I told you I seem to be obsessed with them at the moment!!
I thank you for letting me vent a little, now I have to get on with some coursework that is due for Friday...


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Learning Curve

This is what I love the most about the new side of the hobby I am investigating; the mistakes I am making are worth while in making sure I eventually get it right. It can be frustrating, but the results become worth the blood and sweat I put into perfecting new skills that I am developing.

Gallega has had a massive change, after people have given me advice that her previous position was not suitable for a medallion due to the relief and the fact that in real life her head would be very far forward, I changed her completely and she is now just a normal head and neck like Todd.
I need to perfect everything though and as always I am open to any forms of constructive criticism. I am happy that she is looking a lot better now and I can only go forward from here... Hopefully!

I have also been learning a lot with my andalusian sculpture. I have been advised to buy an anatomy book so need to do that, and so for now he is to be placed back on the shelf until I get a book in hand and I can study how the bones and muscles move in the equine. This is him so far, his face and shoulders reworked yet again and his hindquarters still blocked in.
And his other side...
Its the learning curves that I am witnessing now that make us better at what we do.