The great outdoors

It was wonderful sunny day at Foppe's Acre yesterday so I took the opportunity to take new photos of the recent sculptures outside to update my shop window over at Etsy.
Still a few more to go but I think these look smashing already. These kids enjoyed the fresh Friesian air and look much better in natural light don't you think?


Proud Mary

Proudly presenting my Friesian mare! (I think I'm going to call her Proud Mary
I'm very happy with how she turned out, it was quite a lot of work ot get her coat the way I had in mind but the many washes ontop of the silver foil created the perfect sheen. It was a challenge but a lot of fun to create her. Now she's up for adoption in my shop and I hope she'll find a warm stable and a loving heart.

Sophie's treasury box

A few more detail photos of Sophie's treasury box.
I'm going to make these to order too, not only ducks but any pet, to safekeep mementos of your furry or feathered friends (but they can function as treats boxes too of course!).


Floating on heaven's pond

Finished Sophie's box today and it's exactly what I had in mind, better even.
Sweet Sophie is floating around on heaven's pond between the waterlilies and looking up to me like she used to do; full of curiosity and love.
Now I can finally put the things that remind me of her inside the box and treasure them forever. Float in peace sweet Sophie, I miss you but I still have you with me.


Shine Silently

Current state of affairs with my Friesian mare.
So after I put the silver foil onto her coat I added washes of transparent black acryllic to diffuse the silver. It came out just as I had in mind but it may still be too prominent. I may have to add a few more washes but I might lose the effect, so I have to be careful. In contrast I painted the manes, tail and fringes on her hooves solid black, that needs some more work too.
Then it's on to finishing, she needs eyes (of course) and some detailing here and there.
I'm quite happy with the result so far but I'm not completely satisfied yet. Stay tuned!



Finished Sophie's sculpture today and I'm very happy to have her back in my hand.
The shape of the sculpture was quite realistic so I started to paint her in a realistic way but since I never do realistic work I wasn't happy with how it turned out so I started again and made this stylized version. I'm glad that I gave it a second try (or a third or fourth if I had to, as long as I needed to make a perfect image of my dear duck). Right now I'm working on the box and when that's finished I'll post a picture of the total.
Then I'll put the mementos inside and treasure little Sophie forever.

Sophie's return

Two weeks ago Sophie passed away but she's slowy coming to life again. This is a very weird experience. When I started sculpting this little duck I had Sophie in mind, I tried to capture her most familiar pose; looking up to me hoping for some treats and attention. Of course I looked at photos of her and while carving and sanding I looked at her sister Saffy too who was sitting next to me in the yard (they were sisters and looked very similar). When I started painting her colors and markings I starteled because there is no doubt this is Sophie and not one of our other Muscovies. This is the first coat of paint, I'm going to detail her and refine her features but already I see my sweet Sophie return in this little sculpture. Oh boy....


Silver lady!

My experiment worked! I've added the silver coating all over my Friesian mare and she's shining like a mirror. She won't stay like this of course, I'll be covering her with layers of translucent black acryllic to soften the reflection but will keep it visible just enough to make her coat shine. I quite like this effect, I might use it on more of my sculptures.


I've worked on my Friesian mare the past couple of days but I'm not satisfied with the result so far.
I always use a painting effect in my sculptures; creating depth in their coats by paiting transparent layer upon layer but for obvious reasons this isn't really working on a black horse. Whatever I tried she comes out flat and like in this photo without proper lighting there's no interest looking at her, even if her curves are nice and smooth. A dissapointment.
So I'm going to live dangerously and try something new. 

I've used this material years ago and think it will create the coat for my mare I had in mind.
It's a silver colored foil that you apply ontop of a sticky glue-like substance. After it's dry you can add glazes to create a bronze like appearance.
I've done a test on a small goose sculpture and I think it will work.
Friesians are deep black horses, their coats shine like a mirror in the sun so my hopes are this silver foil will create the effect I invisioned.
Wish me luck!


Labor of love

Did some rough sanding this afternoon to see what needs filling in, not much, just a touch here and there. I'm really happy with her face. Muscovies have a natural smile and I already see it appear on Sophie's beak.
Love working on this little treasure.

In the palm of my hand

Carved more details in Sophie's sculpture today to give her the right Muscovy silhouette. Now she's sitting in the sun drying her feathers so I can sand her tomorrow.

For Sophie

Ten days ago my sweet studio duck Sophie unexpectedly passed away. Sophie was born at Foppe's Acre eleven years ago and lived a full and happy life, I miss her very much though.
I've collected some mementos of her and decided to make a little box to safekeep them.
Started working on her sculpture today, it's far from finished but already I see her inquisitive look asking for treats. This will be a labor of love.


A coat of many colors.

I promise I won't post pictures of every brush stroke but the first base coat of paint is always exciting as it shows eventual flaws on the smooth surface, but fortunately I didn't find any!
I'm choosing brown because even though adult Friesians are black (foals start with a beautiful rusty brown coat) I'm going to build up her coat in many transparent layers to hopefully create depth. I'm going to leave her to completely dry and let the clay absorb the paint before I continue. For the moment my first horse Lila Gubben is comforting the Friesian mare after her first treatment which is always kind of scary for a horse. ;-)