As many of my regular readers will have noticed, other than the recent Julip one, there's been a distinct lack of pony posts over the last wee while. I've always had something of a wandering muse; one minute I'll be really into something, but in a matter of days or weeks I'm in the mood for something else, and so I've been doing a lot more with my dolls over the last few months while the horses took a back seat.
I really needed something to get myself back in an equestrian mood, as my body piles have been mounting up whilst my motivation to paint them ebbed away. So, you can imagine my delight when Jennifer Buxton announced a brilliant challenge for February - NaMoPaiMo!
Inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) she came up with this one specifically to get hobbyists back into painting and interest in it has been rather dramatic!
I had no shortage of bodies and quite a few awaiting primer, so choosing my victims wasn't too difficult. Only one model would be counted in the challenge, but I've picked four I'd like to get done this month.
From left to right; 'Horatio' by Clare Stokes, 'Truffles' by David Mayer/Horsing Around, 'Night Heather' by Kelly Sealey and 'Hamlet' by Clare Stokes.
All of them have been sat next to my desk for the best part of a year. I occasionally sanded a few seams and carved out some hooves but other than that they've lain more or less untouched.
Armed with my trusty can of spray primer...
...I padded outside to spray them against the garage door.
(in bare feet, might I add, and the ground was wet - we artists clearly suffer for our art!)
A few light coats later and they're now ready for paint!
I'd more or less decided on their colour schemes in advance, but hadn't really thought about proper references until the challenge was announced. Any excuse to do a spot of photoshopping!
I'd chosen the Shetland to be my 'main' contender for this challenge. I knew pretty much as soon as I bought him that he was going to be bay tobiano, so I had great fun scouring my reference pile and picking out patterns I liked.
I like all of these ideas but I'm rather partial to all of them so it'll be fun trying to choose!
I'm seriously considering #3 with #6 flipped for the other side though.
As Highlands are my favourite pony breed, I'd bought Heather with the intention of showing her as one, and thanks to my multiple visits to the RHS every year, I had no shortage of reference material to draw from. I knew I wanted her in either grey or dun, so I did a couple of mockups.
I finally settled on a lightly dappled dun-going-grey like this, so I kind of get the best of both colours!
I don't paint greys often enough so I'm looking forward to starting on her.
When it came to Horatio, who I'd already customised a little in advance to look more Highlandy than cobby by removing most of his feathering and extending his hooves a little, dun was the only colour I had on my mind.
Picking a shade however was more tricky as there are almost infinite possibilities when it comes to duns and Highland ponies in particular! I kept being drawn to the most flashy and distinctive of the lot - bay or 'yellow' dun, so I think that's what he'll be.
Finally, Hamlet. He was sculpted as a nice traditional hogged show cob, and as they're a type rather than a breed, they can literally be any colour, so I could really go wild with him if I wanted to. I had a hankering to paint him grey for such a long time so I was pretty surprised when all I could think about this week was a really striking black tobiano!
I threw in a pintaloosa for the hell of it, and he's really starting to grow on me...help! I really like the last four so it's going to be hard to choose which one to paint I think.
So yeah, that's where I'm at right now - I'll hopefully be starting on the actual painting this weekend, though I might manage a basecoat tomorrow night...so watch this space!