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!


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