Because I started out working with small-scale horses, I’ve heard that I am ruining my eyes for years now. Since I’ve been horribly near-sighted since childhood, I never took it very seriously. How could someone not see something – even a really small something – that could be held up close?
Of course, age has humbled me on that score. In recent years, I’ve learned that I need to paint really small things early in the day, before my eyes are too tired to do close focusing. I also have progressive lenses, which help a bit, as do Ott lights. I know that the day will come when I simply cannot work on really small horses anymore, but I’m not there yet.
But I’m pushing it with Imp. I’m not there, but Imp is telling me I’m closer than I’d like to be to having a lower limit on what I can see.
And I can say that he sure is hitting below the limit on my precision airbrushing! Of course it doesn’t help that I decided to paint my first one (“Butterbean”, pictured above) in one of the no-see-it-when-raw color mixes. But even with a more visible underglaze, I’m coming to believe that this little guy is going to require a lot more hand painting on my part. It will also change what types of colors are likely to work for him, and which ones aren’t. Chances are he’ll present the kind of glazing challenges that lead to new techniques, just as his mother (“Vixen”) pushed the envelope on mold-making.
I plan to finish him up (inbetween the endless scritching on my insane sabino Voltage) so I can take him in his finished form to Idaho. Since Joan is a far more precise airbrush artist than I am, having her paint one will help me to see where the limits are based on tools, compared to my own limit on skill. That will help me make the call on whether or not he goes into “official” production, or is limited to a handful of specialty pieces.
In the meantime, Joan tells me that the Taboo mold is finished and that he is suitable for production. (At least, suitable for the smaller scale that I typically produce!) If that’s the case, I’ll probably announce the two adult molds as official releases shortly after I return.