Although I have displayed this image in various places I didn’t have a chance to post it on my blog until now. It was originally intended as a promotional piece to send to a company that creates a girls’ fantasy card game based on horses.
At a whopping 25″ x 30″ (10 000 x 12 000) @ 400dpi and nearly 1GB this piece made my computer sweat bullets every time I opened it.
Horses are definitely one of the toughest animals to draw! I struggled with the angle and structure of his face. Here’s a redline I did to help me figure out where I needed to make corrections.
You can buy prints of this image at my Society6 shop.
When I’ve been pushing pixels on a digital canvas for countless hours sometimes I feel the urge to work on something tangible. It’s also a good way to keep practicing with traditional media, which is something that I often neglect in my illustration pieces.
Here’s a resin sculpture I’ve been working on lately. He is about 6.5 inches at his ear tips. He was painted by dry brushing pure pigments and sealing them, then glazing numerous layers of oil paints over top.
I’m happy to say that he was sold to another Canadian artist before he was even finished and should be shipping out in the next few weeks. Thank you Rayvin!
So, as promised I wanted to explain the second part of my internship. While developing my portfolio I also needed a source of income. I know many of my colleagues have Etsy shops where they sell cool handmade stuff, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I should make. I looked into creating hand-painted light-switch plates, but realized that there was only about 10 dollars in profit to be made from each light-switch plate. I have a love of horses and used to have dozens of plastic horse toys when I was a kid, so last year while surfing the internet I stumbled upon a hobby that was right up my alley; model horses. These aren’t your 4 year old’s toys, many of these models are worth thousands of dollars and are considered pieces of art. Giant conventions are held where people compete their models in a variety if categories, such as workmanship (how well painted and accurate they are) and performance (put them in a set up such as show jumping and try to be as accurate to life as possible). I had wonderful luck to be contacted last spring by a local sculptor in the hobby, Lisa Sharpe, who helped me learn how to prepare the model horses, made of resin, for painting. So, as part of my internship I started painting these models for sale.
Above: This is the first model I completed and put up for sale. He’s only about 4 inches tall and fits in your palm.
As you can see this hobby is all about creativity and involves many different artistic skills. I learned how to airbrush so that I could base-coat my models smoothly with acrylics. I learned about preparing resin surfaces to take paint. I learned a lot about different methods of applying oils so that they are smooth and lint-free, as well as what sealants to use. I learned how to photograph the models as accurately as possible (although I definitely need to improve). And finally, I used my knowledge of graphic design for the type, and hand painted the background with watercolours.
Being primarily a digital artist, I find this hobby also helps to fulfill my desire to create a physical thing. There is something so satisfying about having a physical object that you have created, that’s not just displayed on a monitor.