Sunday, 31 January 2016

My first Sketch of 2016

So the Marmoset painting might have been my first 2D artwork for the year, but this photo is my first sketch with pencils for the year! I did this on Sunday afternoon while watching a movie, so it took me a good few hours to do. I didn't spend ages on it and, if I were to go back, I would alter a couple of the noseband straps, as they don't look right. But for what it is, I am happy!

It just feels good to be able to put the pencil to paper and to be successful! I want to have a go at more I think.

I hope you enjoy!


Icelandic's Clay Form Done!

Today was a lazy Sunday. After recovering from the live show I held yesterday, I decided to potter about and also do a bit of work on my sculpture. I ended up finishing his tail. Now, the plan is to refine everything and do plenty of smoothing out in the clay! There are some cracks that need to be filled, areas that need redefining and parts that need to be leveled out. This will be a satisfying, yet simultaneously long and frustrating process indeed!

Getting There!
His tail looks longer than his legs, but I can assure you it is highly likely that the camera angle has distorted it... I have measured, but also I am not too worried about this as I will only be checking out he will be perfectly balanced once I have the waste casting.

So, plodding away at this little man, and I am super happy with the progress!


MHL Live 2016

Yesterday, I ran the Model Horse Love Live 2016, the first live show of the year. It was in the Rothersthorpe Village Hall, a hall quite frequently used by us hobbyists! It is in a great location just off the M1 and a lot of us find it easily accessible.

My friend Holly came to my house at 7am where we both piled stuff into my car and I drove the hour journey to the hall. Once we arrived, we set up all the tables, raffle prizes, and Holly even had a stall to raise awareness for hedgehogs; because of the mild winter we have so far had and with the tremendous amounts of flooding, they are really struggling as a species this year!

The raffle all set up - many thanks to everyone that donated!

Hettie's Hedgehogs
 All in all, the raffle raised £106, which is fantastic! All of these funds will be going towards the British Horse Society Equine Welfare Charity.

We started off the morning with the CTF section spread out over three rings. I was expecting this to take all morning, with OF, CM and AS to be run in the afternoon alongside each other. As it turned out, people actually preferred showing one section of models at a time, so we continued the theme throughout the day.

Rubbernedz Arabian

Julip Shetland

CollectA Suffolk Punch

CTF Championship
The OF section was shown after the CTF section. I had particular difficulty judging the Warmblood class - there were so many Valegro models that I had to try and find the TINIEST little 'issues' in order to place them. Because there were also six models, it meant nothing else in that class could be placed.

The Valegro Class!
There were some lovely models in this section, though...

PS Palouse

Another PS Palouse

Probably my favourite of the three!
We broke for lunch in between some of the OF classes, where we held the raffle and it allowed people to bring their sales out onto the tables.

Meanwhile... There was a white cat that came into our show hall randomly, and really wanted attention and lots of fuss! Unfortunately, because of the risk, we had to put him back outside... He even brought us a dead Blue Tit as a gift! As time went on, we saw him meowing by the doors, the front door and the emergency exit door by the kitchen. He looked so sorry for himself!

I ended up going outside for a few minutes to give him some attention. He had a collar, so no worries about not having a home to go to, but he sure loved the attention and was also soft!

Anyway, back to the show! The CM classes followed the OF classes.

CM Valegro

CM Copperfox

CM Breyer
It is so nice that more and more Copperfox models are slowly emerging to live shows. I can't wait to get my hands on the Irish Sport Horse at some point! Some of the Breyer Valegros were beautifully customised too. However, these two were the ones that ended up winning the CM section!

CM Championship
Before we knew it, we were diving straight into the AR classes, which flew by ever so quickly. I tried to get some photos but I took much less as the day progressed.

The Indy above ended up winning the show. He is owned by Nicki, and apparently was flown over from the USA where he has been proxy shown for a while. I guess it was time for him to try out a different turf!

The Championship
All in all, it was a great day. Although I was rushing around, I was holding the show afterall, and other people said they had a lot of fun and they had time to socialise, which is the main thing. After cleaning up the hall and putting everything away, I got back around 7pm (the show finished at 5pm, which was good considering we had 120 classes to get through!).

So, I have been saying this a great deal, but THANK YOU to EVERYONE who either attended, donated to the raffle, who judged, and who helped me in general on the day. It wouldn't have gone as well as it did without every single one of you!


Friday, 29 January 2016

Another Störm Update!

I have been working on my sculpture's hind end after focusing on his forelegs, head and neck. I think I am finally happy with them. However, only time will tell as I am now adding the tail to see how the overall piece balances, both in the sense of physics and overall appearance!

The tail is incredibly rough here, it will end up with more depth and flow. I don't plan on going right to the end of the tin foil there, either. But so far, so good!


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Marmoset Painting

I completed this acrylic painting of two Marmosets over the New Year period. Considering I haven't painted 2D in acrylics in a few years, let alone two monkeys, I am quite pleased with how this turned out!

I need to get back into more sketching and 2D stuff again.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

An Update on Störm

I have been doing an awful lot of work on this model over this weekend, having lots of free time to enjoy my hobby, which is great! I completed the mane over a few hours yesterday and today I spent around two hours refining details on the head, neck, shoulders, off fore and half of the near fore. I still need to define the hoof itself on the near fore, and add frog details. Both hooves on the front lack hoof bulbs too...

Sculpture in progress
Ignore the hind end, I haven't been developing or touching it recently... I should get cracking on with it really!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

My new Sculpture in progress

I mentioned in my previous blog post that I had started a new model horse sculpture. I can already really see how I have improved after completing Azucena, as even though I was only claying up this new one, I knew I was doing it better; for a start, I used a stronger wire for the armature and measured more.

Claying up my new sculpture
With Azucena, her feet I failed to get right many times due to the flimsy wire, as well as her legs kept bending out of shape. I also had many nightmares along the way, as moulding her was difficult. Her head had moved in the process and not everything came out right, and if I had got the main infrastructure correct then SO many problems could have been avoided. She isn't perfect, but I am actually glad I never sold any, she is special to me but she isn't special enough to be sold in bulk to others. I know, deep down, I can do much better work for people to enjoy. And I plan on demonstrating it with this new horse I am creating.

Further claying up and putting in minor details in to help me 'see'!
One thing that bugged me the most about Azucena was her head and facial features. There wasn't enough depth or structure there, which takes away the realism of the model. I realised what I had done wrong with her though, and again, it all starts with the original infrastructure; when I added the details of her face, I didn't pay enough attention to the bone structure of the face and how it is wide at the forehead and narrows down to the muzzle. I studied and planned how I was going to do the head, and it all started with a knife and shaving down either side of this sculpt's head and feeling like I was starting from scratch!

Starting the facial details
This photo that I had taken was an eye opener, as it made me realise my sculpture was a little too skinny! I also changed one of the eyes after this image, and used a sculpted round ball of apoxie so it wouldn't get squished and lose it's shape.

I continued working on the face, but while I kept adding muscles here there and everywhere on him, I notice little things, for example the neck and head angle started to really get to me...

Giraffe impression!
I thought the neck perhaps had a bit too much length, and bulk in the wrong places, which was creating the illusion that it was too long and not suitable, especially for the breed I want to depict.

Well, I sorted that, and even completed the legs. The legs are still at this point bothering me, only because the lengths of the canon bones I think need sorting. The hooves are only roughed out as well, but you can tell the shape they will be right now, despite them needing much more work.

The neck had been further readjusted after that photo was taken, as although it had improved in structure, I still felt it was a little long. Right now, I decided to work on the mane and ears. It is usually frowned upon my artists in the model horse world to work on the mane and tail prior to completing the entire sculpture first, but I don't work that way. I have to be able to see the bigger picture while I work... There is an artistic anecdote about focussing on the individual strands of weaving the straw rather than the completed basket, but I definitely have to think about the completed basket. But people are different, and that is what makes the world go round.

For the mane, because I plan on it sticking up and flying back, and as it is incredibly thick and bushy, I added the foil there running down the neck and it is held in place with tough galvanised wire. The ears protruding above the forelock are also wire reinforced, despite not being able to see the majority of them! Strength is the main aim.

This is what he looks like so far, while I continue to sculpt along the foil and following his crest.

It must be obvious now that he is to be an Icelandic Horse gelding. His name is Störm and he is traditional scale, although he looks small but that is because he is only around 13hh!

So, why did I choose the Icelandic Horse?

I made a blog post about a future idea of a sculpture here, but basically in 2015 I visited Scandinavia twice and I have fallen in love with the beautiful nature and culture of the countries. Back in March 2015, I had the opportunity to ride an Icelandic horse, also known as Störmy. I wanted to recreate something that is special to me and to trigger some amazing memories of a fantastic part of the world.

I will keep you updated on his progress as I continue to sculpt. Unfortunately, I have other work to be getting on with... But plenty of time in the day!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Happy New Year!

It has been a good while since I wrote on this blog, I thought I should do a 2015 review before I got cracking with my other updates... Not that there are many, I am afraid!

After becoming ill in the second half of 2014, and with my final year at university looming, I had to take a strong backseat with my artwork and creativity. Funnily enough, there were no urges to draw, paint or sculpt like there usually is. I think I have had a few 'burnout' phases over the past couple of years, which has led to quiet periods but it has allowed me to focus on other things, like gaining my Upper Second Class Honours Masters degree in Pharmacy.

One of the biggest achievements in my life... So far!

I am continuing to study, yet I am doing so while I am working as I am in training for yet another year. After July 2016, assuming everything goes well, I will become a practising Pharmacist, which is a scary but exciting thought!

These first few months working as a Pre-registration Pharmacist have been busy, at times stressful, but hugely rewarding and as I look back I can see how far I have progressed. As the months have flown by (literally!) I have become accustomed to the working life and being able to balance my social life and working life, and recently have been channeling my creative streaks.

For half of the week, however, I look after my new Share Horse, an ex-racehorse, who is absolutely gorgeous and she is a thrill to ride. Yet another thing to take up my time!

My new Share Horse, Ruby. 

I know I say this a great deal, and you all must be absolutely sick of hearing it, but I don't care, and I am going to say it again (and again and again...) but Thank You. Thank you for being there all throughout my times of being quiet and disappearing, to the coming back and flooding my website and Facebook Page with information and my latest endeavours, I truly appreciate it and the support for what I do is overwhelming! It means so much!

I thought I would do a little wrap-up post of what I managed to achieve in 2015, which although wasn't a lot, were pretty big steps for me.

1. Henriette Fjord Medallion Sculpture
I had so much fun with creating this piece! I had always wanted to sculpt a Fjord in a medallion, and I also had always wanted to sculpt a gigantic horse butt. So, why not both?!

2. Pewter Micro Minis
I had lots more fun creating these guys too: Topaz, Garnet and Peridot. They were cast in Pewter and although unfortunately now unavailable, I do plan in the future at some point to create more sculptures of this size, but perhaps cast them in resin. Although the Pewter is quick and effective at picking up the details, I found it difficult to cast them (and I also have a nasty scar on my hand!).

3. Completing Azucena
Words cannot express how proud I am for completing this classic scale mare. She has been a rollercoaster, causing me grief at the rough casting stage and I thought it would never end. To say that she is finished is great and I am treating her as a massive learning curve. I am not fussed that she didn't sell as a sculpture, but she has meant that all of those things I learnt I can use on a new sculpture that I am currently working on...

So, what is this new sculpture I am working on, I hear you ask? Wait and see, I shall do another blog post soon... (little hint, though - click here!)

I hope you all have a smashing 2016!!