If you’ve been following this series of posts, you know I started this paper mache horse almost exactly two weeks ago. It stands two feet high, not including the ears.
There are a few things I would do differently if I started over, and I’m not entirely satisfied with how some areas of the horse came out. However, it was a very interesting project and I learned a lot, so I’m very happy that one of my visitors suggested this project.
Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me until this morning when I put the horse down on the ground for his photo that Â he’s the perfect size for a toddler to sit on. I intended him as a gift for my two-year old grandson, but I’m sure the horsie isn’t sturdy enough to ride. I should have made it a different size or used my father’s suggestion of using rebar in the legs.
The colt may need to be boarded at my house until my grandson is older – I wouldn’t want the poor little guy to get his feelings hurt if his new horse breaks the first day he has it. I’ll talk it over with his mom and see what she thinks.
I hope this long series of posts has not discouraged anyone from trying to make their own paper mache horse. I admit I ran into some problems along the way, but the end result was worth it.
Here’s a view of the other side of the colt:
In the last post I showed you how I modeled the face with Super Sculpey, covered it with paper mache, and added the mane and tail using burlap scraps.
Since then I did a lot of sanding, added some eyelashes with my DIY instant paper mache recipe, and then painted the colt.
I originally thought the burlap’s natural color would be OK, so I didn’t dye it before pasting it onto the sculpture. It is a good color for a horse, but it isn’t a good color for this horse, so I diluted some acrylic craft paint with a lot of water and carefully brushed it onto the burlap horsehair. I made sure to separate the hairs so they wouldn’t stick together when they dried.
I also used a cat brush on the mane to make the ends of the hairs fuzzy.
I borrowed the spots and appaloosa pattern of blanket and socks from “RHR Eagles Redwing,” a colt currently for sale from the Rocky Hollow Ranch in Alabama. Now that I’m looking at the photo of the real colt next to the photo of my fake horse, I realize I should have added a bit more burnt umber to the paint to match the color of his coat. Oh well…
- [edit, 8/24/09. Michelle, from Rocky Hollow Ranch let us know the colt was sold so you can no longer find his photo on their site. However, Michelle was very nice and put his picture in one of the comments down below. Now you can just scroll down the page and see how close I came to getting those spots in the right place… Thank, Michelle!]
It is a little ironic that I made my paper mache appaloosa colt here in eastern Oregon, just a few miles from Â the traditional territory of the Nez Perce Indians, who, along with the Palouse Indians, were credited with first breeding these beautiful spotted horses. Meanwhile, the model for my colt lives all the way down in Alabama.
Sadly, hundreds of these horses were slaughtered in the mid 1800’s by the US calvary in an effort to subdue the Palouse, Nez Perce, Coeur d”Alene and Spokane tribes during the Indian Wars.
The Nez Perce tribe is still actively breeding these fine horses, as well as creating a new breed created from the ancient appaloosa line crossed with a rare central Asian breed called the akhal-teke. If you have an interest in this breed be sure to follow that link. The article is well worth reading.
But enough history. If you would like to use my original sketch as a starting place for making your own paper mache colt you can download a printable PDF copy here. It’s a bit rough (it is a sketch, after all), but you’re welcome to use it if you want a fast start on your own project. Remember that the proportions would be different if you’re making an adult horse instead of a foal.
You can use the grid to copy the sketch the size you want by drawing a larger grid on another piece of paper with bigger squares, and then copying each square onto the new page. To see how I did this myself, see my first post for this project.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you make a paper mache horse yourself, or if you’ve already made one and want to show it off, please add a comment below along with an image of your sculpture. The images must be hosted on your own website or an image hosting service like photobucket.com, and they must be small enough to fit into the comment window. I know that’s a bit of trouble, but I’m sure we’d all love to see how your horse turned out.
If you have a blog where you’ve posted your own paper mache sculpture, be sure to include a link in your comment so we can come check it out.