Horse Sculpture – Project #7 from Paper Mache Book

This horse sculpture is the last project in my new book Make Animal Sculptures With Paper Mache Clay. (The video was made before the book came out – it is now available on

In the video you can see how I reinforced the legs so the armature is strong enough. A larger horse would need heavier wire, of course.

Now that this series is done, I get to play a little. Since my very first blog post, way back in November of 2008 was a paper mache dragon, I think it would be fun to make another one, using the techniques I’ve learned in the last 14 months. And maybe I’ll try a bit of whimsy, while I’m at it. I’ll take some photos to document the new dragon, and I’ll let you see him just as soon as it’s done.

I’m always a little surprised when I look at my stats, because that first dragon post is still one of the most popular paper mache tutorials on this site. It was made using the same materials and techniques that I taught myself to use about 50 years ago (yes, it’s been that long). Although it will be a lot easier to make my new one with an inside pattern and paper mache clay, (like I made the horse sculpture in today’s video), instead of paper strips and paste, the old methods definitely work.

‘Till then, enjoy.

20 thoughts on “Horse Sculpture – Project #7 from Paper Mache Book”

  1. hi jonni i was wondering how many boxes did you go up for and how many boxes did you go across beacase in am going to stare the horse for my project. Thanks

    • Amanda, I’m not quite sure what you mean by your question. I used the grid that’s shown in the book, and it says in the instructions how big I made each square. Is that what you’re asking?

    • If you scroll down towards the bottom of this post, you’ll see links to 6 articles I wrote when I made my grandson an appaloosa foal. Ignore the plaster board that I used for the pattern, and use cardboard instead. The plaster board was a big mistake. And if you use an oil-based clay to model the face, be sure to take it out after the paper mache is dry. Other than that, the instructions should get you to a very nice horse. If you need an adult horse, make the legs shorter.

    • I don’t know of a tutorial that specifically shows a draft horse. If you want to use a pattern inside your sculptures, like I do, you can make a pattern from a photo of a draft horse, as long as the photo shows the horse from the side. I show you how to make a pattern in this video.

  2. I am trying to paint my horse as a sorrel. I can not find the right colors to mix so it would look like my sorrel horse. Any idea what colors I should use?

    • You might try Raw Sienna, darkened with a touch of Burnt Umber. A tiny bit of Ultramarine Blue might soften the color if needed. That might come close.

  3. Jonni sorry to bug you again but I followed your instructions and I’ve gt to the stage where I need to make the form of the head. As I told you earlier Im not that good of a drawer… I was hoping you could send me some pictures of the sketched head like the pig. I’d really appreciate that. Thanks

  4. Hi Johnni. I was wondering if you could send me a copy of the horse legs on paper so I can just print it and cut the cardboard out cuz I’m not the best drawer… it be so amaxing if you could. thanks – Annika

    • Sorry Annika, I can’t send you a printed pattern. That’s what the grid is for – it’s easy to copy just one square at a time, no real drawing is really needed.

  5. I think that if the color in the top picture is between a buckskin and dun color for a horse, but I really don’t know.

  6. I really thought bay was more red than brown but maybe age makes me colorblind. I can talk to Jonni this way because she is my daughter and I am bigger than she is.

    • Hi Pete. I think the color in the photo at the top of the post is warmer (more brown and yellow) than the real horse. So the real one is bay, but I’m not sure what the blond color in the top photo is called. Any suggestions, anyone?

Leave a Comment

Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.

Heads up! You are attempting to upload a file that's too large. Please try a smaller file smaller than 250KB.

Note that images greater than 250KB will not be uploaded.