Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beginning of the end - I hope!

I'm getting close to finishing this piece, HUZZAH!  I just need to add a bridle on the horse and do the wrists and hands of the rider, thicken the tail a bit and make the rider's eyes match better - they're a tiny bit off.  Then I have to sign it and I'm finished!!
The horse's tail is nice and thick-looking from the back, but from the side, it isn't quite bushy enough.  Like most Icelandics, this mare has a really thick mane and tail.  I think the mane looks pretty good, but the tail needs to be thicker and needs more movement as seen from each side.  I'll work on that today.

The "splash" you see behind that right hind foot is necessary for support and strength for the piece.  In real life, that foot would be flying through the air like both left feet, but the horse needs more than one point of contact with the base in order to be strong enough to stand without bending the supporting leg.  The "splash" of dirt may be modified a bit, I don't know yet.  It's easy to sculpt them in relief, but doing them 3-D, it's a lot harder to get the look I want.

The stirrups are on the working surface (the board) in front of the piece in the photo above.  They won't be attached until the piece is in bronze because they are too delicate to cast properly.  They will be hand made for each sculpture, just as the bit rings, stirrup leathers and reins will be.  I think I'm going to remake the stirrups out of Super Sculpey so they'll ship more safely.

See how nice and thick her tail looks from behind?  I need to get that feeling from each side too.  Her ears barely show from all the flying forelock in real life.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to put more forelock on her to hide more of her ears or not.  What do you think?  I'm open to suggestions!

The rider's neck looks a bit rough because I haven't cleaned this sculpture up with chemicals yet.  When I finish, I'll use a small filbert paint brush and some orange cleaning liquid straight from the bottle (I'll squirt it into a small bowl I can dip the brush in) and paint the whole thing with the cleaning liquid.  That chemical will melt the surface of the clay just a tiny bit, smoothing out some places and getting rid of the crumbs as well.  I may still need to do some clean-up with tools after I use the chemical, but the chemical will show me where I need to do that.

She looks like my customer, which pleases me a lot since I haven't done a sculpture of someone with an open smile before.  Every picture I have of her, she's got a happy smile on her face, so that's what I used.

I have stirrup leathers on the inside of the rider's legs, cut off at the point where they would not be against hte leg in real life as they stretch to support the stirrups.  The foundry will add flattened copper wire the width of the leathers I've started when they put the stirrups on.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to write me!  Thanks for your interest.

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