Finally, the horse is ready
to paint. This is the part I enjoy the most. A paint job enhances
the individual characteristics of a carving and brings the figure
to life. This both challenging and rewarding. I discuss the color
scheme with the owner to get a general idea of what they would like.
Two or three coats of primer are sprayed and sanded to get the horse
ready for the base body coat. Acrylic lacquer works will due to
its fast drying time and ability to be blended. After the body color
dries, an airbrush is used to do all the body details, shading and
dappling. The trappings are painted using water based acrylics,
and two or three coats are applied to each area. To get the appearance
of leather on the saddle and bridle, these areas are masked and
airbrushed. Lastly, I finish using sign painters' oils for the pinstriping
and gold and silver details.
It goes without saying that the whole restoration
process takes many painstaking hours. The final result, however,
makes all the hard work worthwhile.