It’s the sailing season. (Some might say it’s always the sailing season.) Last weekend our boat club had a social night characterised by cowboys, cowgirls, Indian food and very loud music.
They needed a horse and some cactus plants… to go with all the yachting paraphernalia (ahem)… and I was your go-to paintbrush-wielding club member. I may not sail, but I can produce cardboard horses to order. Especially when there is a table tennis table box in the garage that has been hanging around since Christmas.
The pictures tell the story. It was really good fun to paint a life-size Quarter Horse and below you can see him standing behind the drums tolerating the noise as well as any police horse. His final proportions weren’t perfect but not too bad. His head could have been a little bigger, and his quarters a trifle smaller. But who cares?
Stage One: Starting with some handy pieces of cardboard; nicely aged… about a month and a half is optimal…but not too mangled.
Stage Two: Moving on to charcoal sketching, which graduated to soft pastel when the charcoal wore away to nothing.
Stage Three: Indian ink outline using mostly a Chinese brush. And adding watercolour for some skewbald patches. (a multicultural horse)
Stage Four: evict the dog several times because he keeps walking on the inky horse. (He goes no further than halfway up the stairs, because I have a packet of biscuits open downstairs. And stares at me.)
Stage Five: Saddle the horse. (No girth. Bad luck rider.)
Stage Six: Don’t forget the saddle cloth. Don’t want any saddle sores.
Stage Seven: Add hind quarters to the Quarter Horse and some front legs. (new piece of cardboard.) And hack off some bits of unwanted cardboard around the completed parts.
Note: As with the artwork for Thunderstorm Dancing, I found it pleasing to apply the white acrylic over the brown base colour. It must be a chemical attraction of sorts.
Stage Eight: Add hind legs.
Stage Nine: Stand back and check the horse is not too deformed to perform his function. More hacking.
Stage Ten: Stage Coach! Make some quick cactus plants and try to fit everything into a very small car along with kids’ cowboy costumes.
Some young cowboys on the beach just before sunset.
The kids all gathered chairs and lined up expectantly before the band began playing.