Monday, 30 September 2013

Little Filly winning Big

I finished up this frolicking foal custom to a bright bay tobiano early this year and sold her at the Southern Roundup III in March, and her owner sent me this photo yesterday. She has certainly been doing well in the show circuit!

I love love, LOVE seeing how my horses do, if you have any photos like this one don't hesitate to send them to me! It brightens up my day.


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Topaz - Micro Sculpture is progressing!

She does have a name now, Topaz. If I make any more micro models, I want to maybe name them after gem stones. I think it will be a nice touch!

I have accepted critique from people and have checked reference photos, so her front legs have been fixed so she no longer looks broken at her elbow joint. Some parts of her legs still look noodley and her fetlocks are so incredibly thin, I am having some difficulty there. But the progress that has been made is very positive!

Some people have already worked it out from my Facebook page but yes she is an Arabian mare with a headstrong personality as she is rearing in strong spirit.

I need to get a needle of some sort so I can finish off her facial detailing such as her eyes, she is unfortunately blind for the time being until I am able to locate one.

I also can't wait to start sculpting some friends alongside her; I have already promised a friend I shall try to sculpt a very small foal... This could get interesting!


BMECS next Saturday!

The British Model Equine Championships of the UK is in six days time. The time has certainly flown by and I can't believe that in less than a week the biggest show in the country will be taking place once more in Leicestershire. I went last year and the event was a brilliant insight to the hobby and it was inspiring for me. I also remember taking the beginnings of my Hamlet sculpture with me for people to have a look at and offer me some advice!

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend in person this year so I cannot do a full live show report, which saddens me but I do have horses attending, including those that people have bought from me and those from my own personal collection that are being shown by a wonderful friend of mine, so a massive thank you to Lynne! This blog post is just showing my collection of horses that will be there for you all to try and spot if you are going...

A total of ten of my horses from my showstring will be shown, with the first one being Sabrina. Sabrina is Fraley's Sadie Shoofly resin.

She attended BMECS last year and off the top of my head I think I remember her getting 3rd place in her class.

'Wizard of Oz' my perlino Matador resin will also be making a presence! It is his first time at BMECS and it will be interesting to see how he does.

I will be dominating the Iberian ring this year (as always!) as Be My Valentine will also be there. I show him as a silver Lusitano (and do have documentation to prove it!!)

He went last year but I don't think he won anything. He is very successful at other shows in the UK though.

Another Iberian for the artist resin ring is my very own original Bailadito resin. I am so proud that he earned a place to be able to be shown at BMECS, especially for a first full horse sculpture. I find that even that alone is such an achievement!

Another iberian model horse is my micro mini known as Galeno. This mini is usually always rather successful too, although I can't remember if I showed him at BMECS last year or not... I unfortunately at the moment am unable to find a picture for you but he is Maggie's Andalusian micro performing the Spanish Walk that I painted to a bay back in 2008/2009 time. He is an 'old' boy!

Moving away from the Iberian horses and onto fantasy, we have my Sylph resin named Pearl, a very fitting name for a 'perlino' coloured pegasus. She placed 2nd in the Workmanship fantasy class back in June at my friend's show the Glitz and Glamour Live.

I won another Sylph resin at the UHH for a bargain price and I am planning on painting him and naming him Crystal or something. They would make a cute pair!

Porsche, my Flitwick resin, will also be attending. I bought this model back in 2010 or so and had him originally painted to a strawberry roan in colour, and although he got shown in Germany and did well there I was never entirely fond of him, so last year I got the stripper on him and just did him again from scratch. I am now so much happier with him and his big win at the Glitz and Glamour show really thrilled me.

Here's hoping my little shetland can pull off a similar stunt next week.

Kelly's Sweet Lullaby resin that I have painted and named Fan will be there as well, unfortunately she is without her little foal but they will soon be reunited!

I have an Animal Artistry welsh resin too that was there last year. Off the top of my head he came 5th in his class. His name is Marvel.

And the final horse to make it to BMECS this year from my own personal collection is Joey, another of Kelly's creations for the UHH2012, Union Jack. He is always usually successful at shows and has claimed a championship status before so I hope he does well this year.

It should be a wonderful day out and I am envious of all attending this year. I was also unable to manage to donate anything to the raffle which is annoying but there will be other shows in the future.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tip Tuesday - Painting Eyes

This tip/tutorial was on my to-do list and someone else had requested it, so no doubt this will be useful! I use three colours when doing eyes; white, burnt umber (brown) and black. My eyes are very simple to do; hopefully I can put this in words just as easily! My model in this tutorial is my Breyer custom PAM model (who is also for sale!!.

The very first colour of the three that I use is the white. Not only does this form the basecoat for the paintwork of the eye detailing, but this first layer is also vital in getting the perfect colour needed for when the burnt umber is applied; applying burnt umber onto a darker area of paint doesn’t make the colour pop as it should. When the main horse’s colour is done, the area around the eyes is usually a dark grey/black and the white undercoat means that the burnt umber when applied is really bright in its colour. Try not to go over the edges of the eye but if you do and you can’t clean it up properly, don’t worry too much at this stage.

So once the white paint has dried (only one layer is really necessary) apply the burnt umber in a circle shape, but leaving a bit of white on either the left or right hand side of the iris. This is the horse’s eye white that is visible, although not many horses have this. I always have a bit as it just emphasises the horse’s mood, character, and shows where he is looking; to me, it gives the overall piece a bit more life!

Only one layer of the brown usually is enough, but sometimes if the eye is big (for example it is on a traditional model) I can add another layer of brown but it only covers half of the area before; if you draw a line from the horse’s tear duct to the other side of the eye, that splits your current brown patch in two. I tend to do a second layer of brown on the bottom half of this circle.

The black is the last layer to go on, only it isn’t applied as such. This is where a small paintbrush certainly comes in handy! The iris of the horse needs to be painted on as well as the extra detail that I add. If you look at a horse’s eye closely, you will see that it is brown and it gets darker again around the edges of the iris. With my brush, I draw a fine black line around the brown iris that I had created, which helps give this effect. This is also the stage to clear up and white paint that you may have got on the outside of the eye of the horse, as the black can be carefully applied as to tidy it all up, making it look neat.

If you haven’t got much experience with the angles of the horse’s pupil, I would gather references. It is hard to describe the angle, only images will help! It also comes naturally and gets better in time, I have painted so many eyes now that I just paint the iris on and don’t need to look at references necessarily for the right angle, so that is why I fail to explain!

Once the eyes are done (and everything else is done and the horse has been sealed) it is time to apply the gloss. The gloss really makes the eyes pop and they become increasingly realistic with the clear shiny layer. I use good quality clear nail varnish! If you are unable to get hold of gloss, however, it isn’t the end of the world, and likewise the brown paint doesn’t need to be ‘brown umber’ but that is just what I use. Experiment away!

With wall eyes, my technique is exactly the same only my advice here would be to make sure your blue is very nice and light, almost to a grey tinge. When you split the eye in half to add a deeper shade of blue, you can look at references and play around with the colouring a bit there, as blue eyes are very different on many horses. But my main advice would be to not use a pure, straight from the paint-tube blue, as it is the wrong colour. I know everyone says it (and I for one am TERRIBLE at using them) but references references references!!


Sunday, 22 September 2013

New Sculpture in Progress

... And yes, that is my hand!

I was planning on doing a small range of micro mini scaled horses. Originally I was thinking about doing loads of pegasus model horses like the little drawing in my previous blog post but I am thinking about only doing a couple, and doing mainly real horses instead. Anyway, art is art, let's just see what happens!

Stay tuned for Tuesday, I will try to get a new Tip Tuesday blog post up too!


Friday, 13 September 2013


I drew this small pegasus picture in about five minutes the other night.

There are some conformational issues with it and everything but once I perfect if I plan on getting a small tattoo done somewhere... And I feel it would be nicer that I designed it myself.

But where would I get it?

I actually have an incredibly deep soft spot for fantasy equines and the small cute size of this little sketch I did has encouraged me to try and transform it into something 3D. So over the next few weeks watch this space while I plan more sketches and start creating tiny armatures. :o)

I go back to university this weekend too which I am extremely excited about, and I have plenty of wire there that I can use and I will have some free time next week too. Of course, I am about to enter my third year and the work load will be extremely high, but since when did a bit of hard work ever scare me?!


Saturday, 7 September 2013

More Hamlets to Share

These two Hamlets will be making their way to a new home soon. Both are portraits of cobs that are close to the owner's hearts and I feel honoured to be able to bring them to life on my little sculpture!

First up is this one, who was nearly all bay but with a couple of small sabino patches.

This second one has been planned since I started sculpting Hamlet last September. He is painted after a cob known as Major, who was loaned by my friend but was sadly put to sleep due to a bad colic attack I believe. It is such a shame as one of my favourite horses I recently found out passed away due to colic.

I still have more Hamlet models to paint including loads more commissions as well, and what with us moving house this past week and me being on a placement until the end of next week, I don't have any time or materials to work on anything! I also return to university next Sunday... So next Saturday will be one of the last times I can paint for a couple of months. I will do my best to finish commissions off in that time period but after that I might not be able to paint anything until November time. :(

These past few days have been incredibly up and down for me so I am eager to get back to university and become a bit more stable! If you pardon the pun...


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Utterly Horses Hullabaloo 2013

September already, where has the year gone?!

I am very delayed in posting this and even as I type I am so worn out! That is probably because I have to cycle for half an hour to and from work each day for the rest of this week and the whole of next week too... Since the day I went to the UHH on the Saturday 31st August 2013 I have been on my feet and this is the first time in a few days I have turned my laptop on and have been able to sit down and report properly!

I woke up early in the morning at about 6:30am without being able to sleep anymore. With Newmarket being only an hours drive from my current location, I decided to just get up and I was out of the house just before 8am in the morning. The drive there was relatively easy and straight forward and I found the place in no time. I picked up my lanyard and goodie bag (yay!) and made my way over to the artisans area where my work was to be on display for the day. I said hello to everyone and then set up, also setting up my workshop to begin at 10am, the first one of the day!

The lecture hall where we did our workshops could seat up to 70 people and it was such a good feeling when the hall was nearly full of spectators to listen to what I had to say!

I got some wonderful feedback after my workshop, especialy from the parents. My main vibe was to just get stuck in and have a go at customising, and to not give up and keep going. People approached me afterwards saying how good my talk was and how I gave off a really good impression that it isn't for certain people but anyone can get stuck in and have fun in the model horse hobby with painting and customising. When I first started the hobby, I just had a go at everything and it was what got me to where I am today. So I am pleased that was my main message received!

I wasn't that nervous for my workshop and it has encouraged me to perhaps return next year for one or more talks still! Afterwards I headed back to the artisan area and grabbed a shot of Kelly's table (and I ordered a blank copy of her stunning Albert and Victoria!)

The auction items were in the same area as us in the artisans section, and they were to die for!

Solomon, the palomino Goffert, ended up selling for £1250 in the auction at 5pm on the Saturday. It was an amazing bidding war to see! I am also now aware that the winner in the auction room was in fact a proxy bidder for someone in Australia, so that is where the OOAK will be off to. I have the privilege of holding the model, when I brought him into the auction room everyone gasped! It was quite a good moment!

The other auction pieces were just as beautiful, including this stunning, also OOAK Bacchus resin by Emilia Kurila, who added feathers, a mane and a tail to her first original sculpture. This boy was won by Liz Hibberd of Equine Inspirations.

Shortly afterwards I went to check out the live show tent just to see what was going on and I saw the scene entries that some people had entered. They were amazing and extremely creative! Everyone at the UHH could vote for their favourites and I was so glad there were three separate voting slips as I had a VERY hard time choosing!

I believe the winner of the scenes competition was this wonderful entry. The different shots of it I got were amazing. I love little set ups like this!

After looking at the scene entries I made my way back over to the artisans section but stopped short as there were some gorgeous horses in the field next to the building. They walked over to the fence and were just showing off in general, neighing and whinnying for their friends and they even cantered and trotted around after some noises!

As you can see, I got some wonderful shots!

Another major highlight of the day was the workshop at 3pm with a racehorse known as Funny Genie. He had a skeleton drawn on one side of him and major muscle groups painted on the other, which took the leader of the workshop around 5 hours to do! He even came into the lecture theatre whilst the different musculature and bones were spoken about. It was a massive eye opener and I learnt so much about the different points and structures of the horse!

I also learnt a great deal about thermal imaging and how it works. It is a very important science in the use of equestrian sport, as it turns out that horses could have inflammation or a sore leg yet they won't show signs of damage or weakness as they are prey animals... Cool!

After the day ended I got invited back to have some dinner and wonderful oreo brownie bake and it was all so delicious! The little after helpers party was just getting started when I had to unfortunately set off for home (I wanted to drink and join in so bad!) but I will definitely join in for next year!

Well it has taken me ages to write this, I need to get off and get ready for bed I think! The cycling really is taking it out of me. If you have emailed me or messaged me lately please be patient, I am slowly getting round to replying to everyone and I know there are some parcels I need to send, they will be done this coming Saturday. I am also ten likes away from 400 on my Facebook page and a giveaway will be done once I reach that truly amazing milestone.

After the UHH on the Saturday, after all of the wonderful vibes and great atmosphere with a passion of horses and model equines that we all so love and share, after all of the support and continued wish of success I receive from everyone, I am so thankful, and I need to give something back to you lot!

Definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY ROLL ON for the Utterly Horses Hullabaloo 2014!