Here are the very first photos of "Leggs"-- The portrait of my mare. This is the piece that I have been quietly working on this past year, and will be releasing in a very limited edition if the interest is there. She is regular trad. size.
A bit about her...
This piece has actually ben a bit of a learning curve since I did it very differently than most people would. I created her armature, and then actually cut it apart-- sculpting her in pieces. She is comprised of 8 pieces, and then put back together. I just this past week assembled everything and smoothed the seams... and the last piece remaining is her face/head. I found it much easier to do it this way since I could really focus on detailing each piece, and also it was easier not having to hold and manipulate a solid heavy piece around when I needed to get to a certain part of it.
Overall, I think that the results (for me) have been great with this process. While she is far from perfect just yet, she is coming along really nicely and I am happy with how she is coming together. One thing I noticed when looking at these photos is that I need to bring up her topline a bit and smooth out where I attached her hips since its quite severe. I also think I'm going to blend out the rib lines I have on the left side... they aren't really working, and I don't think Leggs has ever had ribs showing in her life.
The reason I have left her face for last is that I am languishing a bit over it... I feel like on a model of a mare, the face is quite important-- you want her to look feminine and delicate, so she reads as a mare right away. A beautiful face can sell it-- a perfect example that sticks out in my mind is Stacey Tumlinson's "Scarlett". That horse has a beautiful face, and it really made her endearing.
My mare has one of those faces. Call me biased, but I think she has one of the most beautiful faces I've seen... not just on a stock horse, but on any horse. She has this large, dark eye,
delicate ears and muzzle. This photo isn't a great one of her profile, but it is a great one of that little nose. It is important to me that on her portrait, the face be perfect.
Here is the start I have on it so far. I think the eye needs to be a bit more open/rounder, so that will be something I need to get dremmeled and reworked. The other side right now is just fleshed out, without any detail besides eye socket, cheek, and nostril.
I wanted to get one side done first so I could match it to the other and hammer out how I wanted to handle sculpting certain aspects of her face. I wanted to capture that bright expression she has in the above photo, so both ears will be upright like she is walking right toward you with interest. I wanted her head up and relaxed, while still low enough so that she can be used for performance without having to be customized.
So, I have my work cut out for me... lots of tweaking to go from this stage forward. I will have larger, detailed photos by the end of next week when I get her head finished and in place.
My goal is to have finished photos of her by the middle of April. Feedback would be greatly appreciated!