I have the horse and the background where I want them, so the two pieces are finally ready to merge together.
My first step will be in getting a truly accurate outline on the recessed area that holds the horse. I’ll do that by punching a pin along the outside edge of the horse, much like I did earlier with the text. This will let me trim (or fill) the recess to fit the slightly changed horse.
Once the horse fits properly, I’m going to need to anchor it down a little. I’ve had trouble with it shifting a bit, which wasn’t a problem since I was just checking the design. Now I’ll be filling the miter between the two pieces, so I’ll need the head to stay in place.
The only places that aren’t finished off are the edges near the shoulder, so that’s where I’ll pinch the clay down. I’ll clean this up and bevel the edge to match the rest of the card.
I originally thought I could shape the recess to form the intended outline before the horse was added, but it became clear to me that I’d have more control over the line if I did it with the horse there. I set about adding the outline to the neck since it had the simplest lines.
What I didn’t anticipate was that the line wasn’t giving me the effect I had in mind. Instead of highlighting the horse and jumping him off the design, I found it was distracting. I tried adding it just to the areas with the textured background (the top of the neck, front of the face and understand of the jaw) while leaving the muzzle flush against the plain background. It still looked distracting.
I think I am going to opt for a gently sloping curve to the areas where I have a line now, but I want to set the design away and sleep on it. Looking at the problem with new eyes is always a good idea. I suspect that one of the ideas I was most attracted to in the beginning may well not work this time around. That’s not a good enough reason to include it, though. Knowing when the throw something out is as important as knowing what needs to go in.
Either way, after tomorrow I should be ready for the hair. I should add that I dread hair, and dread adding hair against a background most of all. So this part could get interesting.