Portrait Horse: Vincent


There is something addictively awesome about taking someone else’s art and making it come to life on a horse!

This little guy is Vincent and is drawn by the talented ContinuingLegacy (Izzy). Because I was working with an artist it made it a breeze to collaborate the sculpt and painting, since they could do sketch overlays on photos of the actual model.

But since this work was such a back and forth between me and the artist, I took a lot of photos. A lot. (Just shy of a thousand.) So when it came time to make this post I had a hard time weeding it down. If you want to see even more photos, please check out Vincent’s Facebook Album over on my page! ๐Ÿ™‚

We Can Rebuild Him!

Vincent’s Sculpting Timeline


Off to a rough start…

Vincent started as a Breyer Classic (1:12 scale) Warmblood Stallion from the Sport Horse Family, but went under the dremel as soon as I got him in hand. A new mane, tail, and resculpted face were on the table, but no wings (this time).

I’d never done a resculpt on anything this large and it was a blast to climb up the learning curve.

There’s something viscerally joyful about getting fingers into clay– it’s certainly made me want to try it again!

As you can see, the learning curve was a bit harsh for the tail.

Resculpting is fun!

It took a half dozen attempts before I got the basic shape right and then another dozen until I was happy with the detailing. I was almost tempted to simply dremel the whole thing off and start over, but with some carving and resculpting I was able to tease out the shape I’d wanted. Vincent has the cutest little fluff of a tail and I wanted it to match up as much as possible.

The mane was a lot easier for some reason, just luck I think. I went for more of a fluffy mohawk to help keep him realistic looking and thankfully that came out well.

The face took a lot of tweaking, although it’s hard to see in the photos. There was a lot of back and forth with the curve of the face, I had a really hard time trying to get it just right. Yet another place where being able to have the artist sketch over the photos was a real help!

Finally he was done sculpting! It took a lot longer to get to this point than I had thought, but that tends to be the way of most projects. I am ever the optimist on how long something is going to take to complete, which gets me in trouble. *sighs*

All The Colors of the Wind

Color Matching – Take 1

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears. ~ Arabian Proverb

And then there was COLOR!

I did a lot of printouts to try and perfect the color matching with this guy. I’m still learning how to make the portrait horses as spot-on for color as I can, so I was trying everything I could think of. I ended up expanding my acrylic paint collection quite a bit!

I actually lost track of all the materials used to create this guy. If I can find all of my notes, I’ll come back and update– but for now let’s just say he was painted in acrylics and detailed with Prismacolor pencil and chalk pastels.

Color Matching – Take 3

Again having Izzy there to help me tweak the pattern was a big help. There were a lot of reference photos for Vincent, but the white patterns were sometimes contradictory, so we finally just did a recolor of the photos and worked primarily from that. I tried my best to make sure the end pattern matched that, as well as the other existing drawing as much as possible.

I was also trying to make him looks as realistically horse-like as I could, so it would be a nice meld of the reference drawings and real life. In the end I think he turned out pretty darned nifty and I was really sorry to see him go!

As always, click for larger photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Vincent’s Guide Sheet


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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