All has been well up through Layer 5, but at this point an unusual thing is happening: I feel I'm losing control. I no longer know what color this is. I can't seem to get to where I thought I was going. If this is the ugly stage, it's like no other I've experienced. Rather than a red roan, he seems headed for silver bay, or, worse, another Perlino. Will I be disqualified... ??
Layer 3 was pleasant. It's exciting seeing your visions come true. He went slower than I'd prefer, and we're definitely into the ugly stage,... but that was a relief.
|Orlik Layer 3, Offside|
I was happy with the dappling, and that was another relief.
I organized my reference pictures. Only 2 of them really depict the red
roan I want, and even then I get to subtract socks! No socks for
Orlik... Yes, he is halfway between Brasenose the dark liver chestnut
and Marimba the Perlino. But I don't want any socks. His legs are long
enough as it is!
|Orlik Layer 3 Near|
I felt I needed more of the deep chestnut red. He still looked like a palomino. In Layer 4 I started to add color to the top of the tail; that made a difference.
|Layer 4 Offside|
One of my troubles is getting color onto the fronts and backs of the legs. He really is slab-sided and so are his legs, and I'm using a rather wide brush: wide but very short. I'm grinding the powders into the surface. This is what's worked before; but those thin cannons are a challenge. Holding the brush level and stroking horizontally is about as close as I can come to solving this one.
|Layer 4 Near|
Here on Layer 4, I'm starting to see consequences. The white over his back and loins is giving him a larger, longer back, while the darker red on the legs and chest is shrinking what was small to begin with. I think he needs a whiter chest, elbows, gaskin and stifle. Oh boy, I've already chestnutted those areas pretty well!! Ah, me, here goes...
|Layer 5 Off|
February 16, Layer 5. Everyone else's red roan looks so different from mine. They're all purple all over the body. Somehow that's not what I'm after, and I'm experiencing the dreaded slowdown and doubtful phase... None of my horses has had such a complex ugly stage. None of them has
tried to change colors like this. I think I'm aiming for something new
and strange. I'm about 65% intensely excited-pleased and 35% worried
|Layer 5 Near|
I no longer know what color I'm after. I was so sure when I signed up for red roan; but my insistence on pastels + Pearl-Ex, no hair-by-hair, my desire for a white top -- back and loin -- instead of a purple-all-over roan, and my fanatic desire for a flame mane, is making him look a lot like a silver bay. My original reference picture was, I think now, a bay roan and not a red. Layer 5's darkening of the legs just makes him bay-er. That grayish is needed for the hooves and muzzle, eyes, ears and inguinal, but why did I have to go and put it on his legs--??!?
|Photo from The Baha'i Space|
Original reference above; present ref below. Note flame (orange) mane.
|Photo from Aussie Girl|
Groping in the dark, there is only one thing I'm sure of. HE knows what color he wants to be--!! If I'm sure of anything, I'm sure of that...! I still think there's a chance of a red roan if I can redden the legs and mane-roots and tail top and the head... And the dapples, faint but present, each layer re-inscribed by hand and eye, are exactly what I was wanting -- ! Surely there is some hope here...
It's a measure of how flustered I am that this belly-smear mistake, ordinarily a terrible flub, is no more than a minor irritant. It'll probably be buried in future chestnut.
|Layer 5 Offside Belly smear|
I know by my intensity that I'm having fun. The weather does not stop me. Hang in there, fellow painters. The ugly stage is real, but so is future success.
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