I saved this entry 'til last, even though I'd worked very hard on others. It was, without doubt, the most difficult of all of my show entries. In the end this image took me 2 days. I used all my skill, hard-fought over many years, and (as is the way with PhotoShop) I learned a lot more in the process. Also, as is the way with PhotoShop (and many other complex projects), what I thought would be hard was easy. What I thought would not be much work turned out to take most of the time. Hah!
I started out knowing that the rearmost hind leg would be the one facing the viewer. Why? Because my skill did not at all extend to re-sculpting an entire folded-up haunch! It would be hard enough bending that hoof around. Here's the start: a normal Hamilton.
I would be looking at this picture for a long time. Shamefully, there were very few 'saves' that occurred in the intense flow of this process. But the one below did get caught. I had done so much at this point: moved the near hind hoof, moved and bent the hock (a LOT of work), moved the canon, stifle and hoof of the off hind, and filled in the cloth background. You can also see how I thinned the stifle bend.
Ready for the next step: bifurcation!
Since a trot has parallel-canon opposite-corner legs, I'd known from the beginning that I'd be cutting him in half, flopping a half and trying to blend the result. I'd been doing this in my head from day one. If you try to include a saddle, it would indeed be almost impossible. And yet here are some pix I took in the early stages of my dream. These should stand as proof that a complex project enforces its own triage, and winds its way to completion down ever-narrowing paths. Including a saddle rapidly became a dumb idea.
I had thought it would be hard to turn and twist his front half to match. Silly me. It was easy. Here's a normal Nearside shot:
The finished view lowered the off fore hoof (compare with above). I did what seemed like hours of blending, then ran out of spunk and decided to leave the dark upper corner for the signature.