Elmhurst Donation Medallion – Part 1

Our Mims Retirement Haven is a non-profit organization that provides a place for retired racehorses to live out their days in peace and comfort. Recently they got the chance to bring in the grandson (Elmhurst) of the mare their foundation was started in memory of (Our Mims).

In order to help raise funds to cover Elmhurst’s travel costs and care they commissioned a resin medallion from Morgen Kilbourn of Elmhurst celebrating his record-breaking, come-from-behind, sixteen-to-one win of the 1997 Breeders Cup Sprint. They then asked for hobby artists to donate their finish-work for some of the pieces to create portraits of the dapper fellow.

I asked and was granted permission to paint one of the donations (YAY!) and am now diligently trying to do him justice.

Prepping the Medallion

Upper Management

As you can see, the cat was diligently monitoring my progress, so I know things will turn out well! *grin*

To start with, I taped fine grit sandpaper (320) to a flat table and carefully sanded down the over-pour on the back of the medallion. It was a bit time consuming and I felt like the Karate Kid with the endless circling– Wax on Wax Off!

Once the back was smooth I went through and did my best to clean up the small bubbles hidden in the mane and some of the roughage from around the reins. I haven’t prepped a lot of resins, but this one seemed pretty easy once I got going. Exacto knives, fine grit sandpaper, and a tiny smidge of epoxy were all that was needed to clean him up.

Then I went over with a very light coat of gesso, to give the acrylics something to grip on. My camera refused to take a good picture of this, so you’ll have to make do with the next step, which was to rough out some of the color with acrylics.

Acrylics and Pastels : Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Elmhurst – Acrylic Base

I used Liquitex Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, and Raw Sienna to rough in the colors. Right now I’m not adding any black, since I’ll be gradually building up the colors in the base coat and I’m using the mane as a handhold.

I’m doing most of the coat color here in pastels, but I always start with a nice acrylic base to push me in the right direction. And yes, it looks like crap now—it gets better, I promise! *grin*

Now that I have some color, it’s time to break out the pastels!

The set I use is Sargent Art Earthtone Chalk Pastels, which I picked up forever ago and still have plenty left of. That’s the one nice thing about painting smaller scales… the art supplies last forever! *grin*

Of course it also takes forever to build up colors with pastels, so I’ve fast forwarded a bit below. I’m using all of the browns from this set and the one light tan pastel, but no blacks until the final steps since I’m looking for a very deep brown and not a black coat.

Elmhurst – Pastels 1

Elmhurst – Pastels 2

Elmhurst – Pastels 3

Elmhurst – Pastels 4

Elmhurst – Pastels 5

Elmhurst – Pastels 6

Pause to Reflect

Elmhurst – Pastels 7

Now that I’ve got the base color more or less where it needs to be (I think?) it’s off to Blab to get some feedback. I think I may need to take him a bit darker and possibly change the eye shading slightly, but since everything so far as been done in one go… it’s time to take a step back.

Once I have some input on how much darker he needs to go, it’ll be time to start roughing in the mane!

…He does look rather nice as a liver chestnut though. *eyes other resin thoughfully*

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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