Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Story of Ruth: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Paints Horses

Way back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and no one ever thought of the word 'collectible,' Dr. inkenstein owned some Breyer horse models.  Of course, they all vanished somewhere along the way, perhaps to the singularity in which also resides the collection of original Superman comic books.

More recently, I have been thinking about attaining Breyer models for the express purpose of re-painting them.  Maybe with some fantasy colors, blue-black, orange, with contrasting mane and tail.   Oh, not new Breyer models.  But maybe just a few worn and dinged-up numbers gathered at yard sales or fleabay.

Three years of searching yielded nothing that appealed to Dr. inkenstein's sense of True Cheapskatery.  And then one day this spring, we chanced upon a garage sale with Breyer horses.  Lots of them.  In all sizes.  Selling for the sort of pittance that sets my heart leaping.

I bought a bunch of them.  And there were still plenty left over for the next seeker.

My first painting project was inspired by the 1950s Biblical film, The Story of Ruth.  There was a horse in it.  A near-black horse with a Technicolor orange mane and tail.  And, as I fell asleep before the entire film unfolded, I was unable to tell if this was a natural horse color or a Hollywood Dye Job Horse Color.  But it really doesn't matter, because there are liver chestnut horses that come in those colors.  In real life.

One of the garage sale Breyers was a Stablemate flaxen chestnut (though an ebay figure was listed as sorrel)  which gave a good base for the liver makeover.  it was just a nice little flaxen chestnut with three stockings and a blaze.

Oversized pics.  But see? 

Out came the ancient Atelier acrylic paints: burnt umber, burnt sienna, cadmium orange, black, and a floating medium.  The first thin coat of burnt umber went on using a soft filbert brush, leaving mane and tail as they were for the moment.    After three coats I modified the mane and tail color with some burnt sienna and a touch of the cadmium orange on a liner brush.

Dr. Inkenstein's advice is: for a first horse-painting project, get something that you don't need to look at in a magnifying glass.   

This is the finished horsie.  I'm thinking of calling him Ruth.

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