This sculpture was aÂ lot of fun to make. I worked off a sketch and exaggerated the features to emphasise the heavy bones of a typical draft horse. Then I spent a long time painting all those varieties of gray on the coat. The colors – dappled gray for the body and blond for the mane, tail and feathers, were inspired by a horse named Nina, a shire horse whose photo can be seen here.
The sculpture has a slight forward lean that gives the impression of potential movement. However, it also made the sculpture slightly unstable – she wanted to fall forward because of the weight of her head. I solved this problem and gave the finished piece a satisfying weight by removing the paper from inside her back hooves and replacing it with plaster. I did this after the paper mache around the hooves had hardened, but before I put any paper mache on the bottom of the hooves.
Whenever plaster is used to add weight to a paper mache sculpture it’s important to put in some plastic sheeting or a plastic bag so the plaster is separated from the rest of the sculpture. If you don’t do this, the water in the plaster may slowly seep out into the paper mache, long after the plaster has become hard.
This horse sculpture is approximately 12″ high and 14″ long. I did not use a pattern to make the horse – I used the same techniques for forming the crumpled paper/masking tape armature as is shown in the dragon sculpture tutorial.
OK, I couldn’t help it – I love this video of the old guy singing “The Old Gray Mare.”