I have many-a-time seen beautiful, nay exquisite, ancient horse sculptures, and wished I could have one on my coffee table. Alas, the cost, even of good reproductions, is prohibitive, so the wish remained just that.
However, it occurred to me that I could perhaps copy some of the ones I liked, but using cheap materials such as balsa wood, greyboard (or similar), wire and papier-mache. A dremel power tool was, for me, essential to cut time and effort. That was about it.
My first attempt was to convert a 2D drawing of a bull from the Lascaux caves in France into a 3D model using those materials. It turned out to be a rather chubby and cute little creature but lessons were soon learned and I got stuck into making horses from Chinese, Greek and other ancient civilisations.
Each horse is a one-off. Although I want to return to the animals of the cave walls and make a series, my next venture is to try my hand at fairground carousel horses.
These terracotta gift horses were small offerings by mourners and were put into graves or shrines etc . They were small items but mine is a more manaeable size, about 8cm tall. Like the others on this page, it is made of greyboard supported by wire and papier-mache, which is sanded down several times to iron out bumps and give a smooth finish. The wires extend downwards beyond the feet and into prepared holes in the wooden base. The paintwork is applied in layers of watercolour washes, gouache overpainting and flicked speckles of darker colour.
An opportunity to paint freely. So enjoyable. Must do more of these. Pity I have to make the horse first!
This is my copy of a beautiful little bronze horse is Roman and dates from 200AD. The following few pictures show its rebirth in card and wet paper.