Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shiny Ponies

I have a real horse related errand to run today.

SCWGA is holding a gaming show on the 13th and 14th of March. The horse I'm running is green as grass, so please keep me in your prayers. I will be wearing a helmet.

Since I know I don't have a snowball's chance in Tuscon of running well, I figure I might as well look good. On today's shopping list are a turquoise tie down and glitter spray. The tie down is just another sign that my real horse tack is slowly shifting to match my model horse tack. Oy.

The glitter spray is part of an ongoing project to recreate a real life metallic, glossy horse.

As Breyer has added more metallic paint to their mixes, a vocal minority has sprung up in protest. Now, I fully understand collectors who don't find these new colors aesthetically pleasing. If you don't like the look, I don't blame you for being upset when another horse comes out with a metallic paint job. That's how I feel everytime Breyer releases another Silver.

However, I take issue with the collectors that get upset about these colors because they are "unrealistic." They argue that metallic colors are limited to Akhal Tekes:


I can't scream this loudly enough:

That's not true.

"Sheen" is found throughout the horse world in many different breeds. It's most common on palominos and buckskins, but I've even seen it on a grey Arabian. And even if you aren't lucky enough to own a naturally shiny horse, it comes in a bottle.

For naturally metallic horses, the effect shows through even the dirtiest coats. At the moment, my horse is in desperate need of a proper bath, but her coat still shines like a freshly minted coin. This is what she looks like clean:


No conditioner, no show sheen, no products whatsoever were used in the above photo. That's just her...clean. Now imagine what she'll look like in glitter. (Yes, despite appearances, I'm still a 14 year old girl dressing up her pretty pony.)

My personal experiences with sheen have greatly influenced how I paint. I started integrating metallic elements into my paint formulas a few years ago. I will cover the how-to of this topic in an upcoming tutorial.


Laura Dotson-Thomson said...

Oh I agree. If anyone went to Breyerfest the year TOF Aristocrat was there (I think 1999, but can't remember), you needed sun glasses to look at him. He had a more metallic coat than the Breyer models - I mean he was GOLD! I agree that sometimes Breyer goes overboard, especially if they put the metallic on a mare (less likely to have the sheen), but I personally like it overall.

Laura Skillern said...

Oh, Breyer can definitely go overboard. I've seen a few Breyers that looked more like decorators! I will discuss in my tutorial why some metallic colors work and some go so horribly wrong. ;)