Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Supernova...take three

Well... Supernova needed more than I had thought! His new head (shown in "Supernova...take two") was too large by about 1/4". That doesn't sound like a lot, but it made a huge difference. And once I had sculpted him a new head to the correct scale, I realized that his neck was much too thick and large. And once I fixed his neck, I realized that the rest of his body was also much too wide. So I removed a ton of Apoxie (resulting in an incredibly dusty studio!) and resculpted nearly the whole thing. Again.

I also had to move his right foreleg back, which finally sorted out a number of issues I had been having (back appeared too long but measured OK, chest was messed up, etc.) And I had to cut all his legs up and correct the lengths and angles. At least he's back in one piece now! His legs still need a ton of resculpting as the muscles and tendons aren't correct right now.

I gave him a new tail, this one is all flippy and fun! I will still need to fill in some areas as it will be extremely difficult to cast as it is now. He has a new mane that I want to add some more flippy-ness to as well.

As you can see I got blue apoxie this time around! I also got pinkish, but I like the blue better. These colors were on sale, so I figured I would give them a try. They seem pretty similar to the normal "natural" Apoxie, but maybe with slightly less of a tendency to "pull", which is definitely a good thing. I was trying to use the blue on his mane/tail/eyes (and eyelashes!) but I didn't remember to bring the natural with me on vacation, so if I want to work on him now he will have to lose his fancy color scheme!

Supernova does have a web page now, although it's rather bare. It is at

Oh, one more thing--Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finishwork update

I've been doing a lot of painting recently and I thought I ought to share some of it with you! Bear with me if the formatting is a little odd here, Blogger seems to have changed since my last post!

This is a commissioned Zim to black tobiano who went off to Australia yesterday; this one took a lot longer than I had expected because every time I thought I was finished I would see something that looked a bit too "flat" or otherwise off. He has many, many layers of shading that unfortunately don't really show up well in photos.

This Zim, in silver dapple sabino, was immense fun to paint and I am enormously satisfied with him. He has a very deep, rich color which the light mane and tail and the sabino markings really set off. He has already made it home to his owner!

This palomino Cooper I painted as a sales piece (he is available now, $425 ppd, please email me at to purchase!). I have historically had difficulty with palominos when I was using pure pigments. I used a combination of airbrush, hand painting, and pigments on this guy and he turned out beautifully. He has layers of metallics through his coat that give him a gorgeous shimmering depth that changes as you move him. He also has very subtle dapples on his barrel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stuff on my workbenches

And yes, it is just "stuff"! Today you get to see a bit of how messy my workbenches are. This is pretty much the normal state of things, unfortunately. About once a month I clear everything off and start again, especially on the painting desk (the sculpting one tends to accumulate more papers, and I only have to worry about dust on the sculpting one, not overspray from the airbrush).

This is my sculpting desk. It's also where my computer normally lives, so this is where I do email, find reference photos, update this blog, etc. See that small semi-cleared space in front of the computer? That's where sculptures in progress go while I'm working on them!

This is exactly how the desk looks right now, I didn't clear anything off it for the photo. Supernova is off to the right, having been beheaded last night (his head was too large; I'm going to discuss that in another post). The roll of toilet paper is used for packing models for shipping. You can see my two lamps; the fluorescent one on the left gets moved over to the painting table when I'm painting. The painting table is off to the left, and the curly red hose underneath the desk runs from my compressor in the closet to the airbrush.

This is my painting bench. I didn't do any painting over the weekend, but I did pull some horses down to check them over. That's why there are three horses on the bench--normally only the one that I am working on is there and the rest are up high on shelves. I'll also have to clean this bench up before I get back to painting today, as it's simply too crowded with all the paints and stuff. The two horses that are actually on the desk are Haidar (who I repainted a large portion of and is almost ready to go) and a commissioned Zim (also almost done!).

You can also see my extra monitor, which I use for reference photos while I'm painting, and my two lights (the third is on my sculpting desk right now). The shelf thing on the right rear usually holds paints but is currently mostly empty because I need to clean stuff up; the bins under the desk also hold paints as well as some sculpting supplies like sandpaper and some other random stuff. The shallow bins on top of the desk (back left) hold powdered pigments.

Oddly (or maybe not) the rest of the house is far neater. I try to keep all my mess in the studio with varying degrees of success!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Supernova...take two

I have been pretty busy lately, between commissions and some sculpting, that I just haven't managed to get photos up here! This week was so rainy that I couldn't really paint--the paint just wouldn't dry and I was getting frustrated, plus with the blowing wind I couldn't spray outside. So, I sculpted! Last week I finished and sent off a bunch of micro minis, this week I started working on a traditional who you've seen before if you read this blog (or maybe at Breyerfest).

Supernova, in his non-hardening clay form, had gotten to the adding details point. He is/was very near the point where I need to make a mold and cast him so that I can continue refining him and finish him up. However, when I moved I had to throw out my resin because the bucket broke and one part spilled, so making a mold would require ordering more resin (and probably more rubber as well). Then once the mold is made, it's a tedious process cleaning up the resin casting just to get it back to where I was before making the mold. This is why I pay someone else to do my molds and castings for the production runs--I am perfectly capable of making a mold that will work, but without equipment like a spin-caster it's difficult to get good castings.

Since I was reluctant to make a mold, I decided to do the next best thing. I resculpted Supernova from scratch in Apoxie Sculpt.

This hasn't been as difficult as you might think--since I already have the plasticine version here, I can take measurements off of that and use it as a model. This helps to eliminate some of the major problems with working directly in epoxy, and I am hoping that I will be able to keep the cutting or grinding off and resculpting of major body parts to a minimum. So far I've pretty much just got Apoxie globbed on; there will be much sanding and building back up yet to do. It's still time consuming, but I'm not sure that it's any more time consuming than making a mold and it does cost much less in materials!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A drastic custom

Meet "Haidar"!

I haven't done too terribly many CMs, but I recently acquired even more bodies than I already have, and I suppose it's time to do something with them! This guy I got in a trade a few weeks ago, and the original model immediately caught my eye as one with much potential.

I resculpted every surface--nothing of the original contours remains.

He's not quite finished in these photos; I need to finish his hooves and mouth.

His head is all Apoxie--there wasn't really much to work with in the original!

Can you guess who he started out as?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bay rabicano Cooper for sale

This handsome boy is up for sale now! Photos are up at He's $500 including postage.

Yesterday and today have been spent mostly in sculpting, with only a bit of painting thrown in. I'm working on Twist and Shout ("Mr. Drama" from before) and micro minis, mainly, with a tiny bit done on Zap as well. It's just about time for Twist and Shout to get critiqued, and I'm sure I'll have plenty more to do on him once some more eyes have looked at him.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Completed commissions

Woo! I am finally moved in to the new house, although I'll probably be unpacking and finding stuff for years to come. I now have a room dedicated as the studio, which has been wonderful--at last, I have a desk just for painting! And shelf space to get in-progress stuff up off the desk and out of the way! It is delightful.

I also finally bought an airbrush last week, which has been quite an eye-opener. It makes some effects that I had been struggling with much easier, and I can tell it's going to be an immense help. Of course, it can't do everything--and I wouldn't try to make it--but for what it does do it's pretty cool. When I first picked it up it was like learning to write all over--it's a very different feel from a paint brush, and requires different muscles and techniques to use it.

I just finished and mailed out two commissions, both portraits and both bay although quite different in their own ways--an Abel and a Cooper (pictured above). I am very pleased with both of them and hope their new owners are as well!

That brings me to another point--I am now accepting commissions for finishwork! I've put some details up at As you can see from the two horses here I am happy to do portraits! I do still have a few Shah Azims and Abels, as well as Cooper, so if you're looking to get any of those painted I can supply the resin as well. Just drop me a note and let me know what you'd like!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Breyerfest goodies!

Well, Breyerfest is approaching alarmingly fast (as always), and I've got a few things to bring along! Not all of these are for sale--some are already sold or are commissions, but I will have them at my table in the Artisans' Gallery at the HIN to look at. I've included just a bit about each one below. If you will not be attending BF but are interested in one of them email me and we can try and work something out.

This Appaloosa Cooper is for sale, $550.

This bay pinto Cooper is already sold.

This bay Abel is a commissioned portrait and will not be for sale.

This rabicano Cooper (see detail shot below) will be $500; his hair still needs a bit of taming!

The dark bay Cooper will be $450. He currently has no markings but I can add a small facial marking if the buyer would like one.

This dapple grey Depeche (sculpted by Jennifer Irwin) is still very much in progress, but will be for sale once he is finished!

Work has been a little broken up right now, since we just bought a house and are moving to Durham NC! I will be going straight from BF to the new place, so I've been trying to pack and everything in between working on horses. I will have a room dedicated as my studio there, which will be a first for me; I will also be doing model horses/artwork full time! Therefore, I will be accepting commissions for finishwork and customization. I still need to work up a rate chart and will be putting that up on my website when I do.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mr. Steady and Mr. Drama

Mr. Steady, "Zap":

and Mr. Drama (who still is in need of a name):

The pair together:

Zap is a portrait of a real Quarter Horse gelding. The other guy is an Arabian stallion, and is still in need of much work--like hind hooves, as well as the obvious mane/tail/overall work/facial detailing! They are both in LB scale--it's a fun scale to work in, being big enough to be detailed but small enough to be easy to handle. I've been working on them in between painting, prepping, and resculpting other horses for Breyerfest, which is only a few weeks away!

I am moving several states away between now and Breyerfest, as well. It's going to be an extremely busy month. I'm hoping to have 4-5 Coopers finished and for sale at the Artisan's Gallery; if you are interested in a specific color and would like to reserve one let me know. As of now I am planning: chestnut appaloosa (nearly finished), bay with mohair, bay, palomino, gray, and perhaps pinto or something else. It's hard for me to remember to post updates when I'm workign so much. I'm looking forward to quitting my current full-time day job and just doing model horses full time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Finished NAN donation!

He is finished, and already in the mail! I'm quite pleased with how he came out; it took at least a dozen times of braiding, unbraiding, and re-braiding his mane to get it right! I believe the auction will be starting with proxy bids in a few days; information will be posted here.

You should be able to click on the images in this post to see them much larger. As you can see I have also made him a custom base, which makes him quite stable.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Here are some more photos of the micros I'm working on. These guys are the closest to being done; there are a few more that need a bit more work before I take pictures of them. These still need some things done, too, but at least they have a full complement of legs and heads!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NAN Auction Cooper

Here's a headshot (photo by my brother, who likes to get artsy). His hair is totally untamed and fuzzy right now!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Couple of Coopers

I'm painting several Coopers; these two are the furthest along! The first one, in chestnut and with hair, is my NAN donation. His hair still needs styling and trimming, and his hooves need some more work, but otherwise he's nearly done. I'll be braiding his mane and tail, in a way that they can be un-braided if his new owner would prefer them loose. Should be neat.

The second one, in bay tobiano, is going to be for sale when he is finished. Sorry about the silly base--I use this while painting to avoid getting paint on the clear bases. He's not quite so far along as the other one; I need to paint his hooves, tail, probably more coats of white and do shading in the white. Drop me a line if you're interested in this guy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In progress sculptures

I'm betting most equine artists don't misplace their original sculptures and have to go searching for them. Then again, most sculptors don't work in micro mini scale! I, on the other hand, do work in MM scale, and fairly regularly misplace sculptures and find them months later. Most of these guys have been sitting around forgotten for months if not years! The two at the bottom right are closest to being done, and they're also probably the most likely to actually get done at some point in the future (you may have to click the photo to see the whole thing so you can see them).

Micros don't take too much effort or materials to start, so I usually start a bunch and see what works out and what doesn't. As you can see some of these definitely haven't worked out!

Traditionals, on the other hand, take quite a bit more effort. That doesn't mean that I don't start and discard them too, but I do put quite a bit more thought into what I'm planning with one before I start. And, since I went out and got some reference photos and video this past weekend, I was able to get some work done on Supernova:

I've just started roughing in his entire hind end, and something is going on with his back that I can't put my finger on just yet. It probably doesn't help that my video references are of a lovely QH, and Supernova is meant to be an Arabian! It's going to be an adventure seeing how he develops.

Here's a screenshot from my video! Check out how deeply he's digging in with those hind legs--really pushing off hard.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Woo hoo! New website!

I am so proud of myself! I managed to totally re-do my website, by myself. It's not quite so fancy as it was before (previously, I hired a professional to do it, while the site really was nice, I couldn't update it myself, which was getting to be a problem). I decided to re-do it myself so that I could understand how it worked and keep it simple enough to add onto it by myself.

Feel free to go check it out at I'm still working on some of the pages!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My NAN Donation in progress--Cooper!

Well, the camera really wasn't cooperating, and of course he's in progress (he has no hair!), but I've been working on this guy a lot! He'll be flaxen chestnut--not sure how light I'm going to go on his mane and tail, but they'll be at least a bit lighter than his body.

I can't wait to hair him, since I love hairing and I'm going to try something new and different: first properly hair him and then braid him--so if his future owner wants they can actually unbraid him. Hopefully it will work out properly; I did a little test run on another model and it worked out fine!