The graphite drawing is almost done. So close I'll just wait and show you when it's finished.
Last night I dreamed I was engraving metal. And I think I was pretty good at it, it's hard to tell from a dream though. In the mean time I'll just become more scrimshaw-obsessed. I need to finish (err, start) that nude I sorta started and get her on ebay. I am doing another tutorial following my experiments with mammoth ivory, which is interesting stuff. I'll post the link another day. I tried wet sanding it and it totally absorbed water like mad. Eeek! Never had elephant ivory do that. I had to let it shrink back to normal and then dry sand it. I'm experimenting with different inks and surface preparations (to seal or not to seal) and will progress onto a good piece when I feel like I know what I'm doing. Subject matter: bison (not even sketched out yet).
Oop gotta get those Serama illustrations underway.
I got all my ink the other day. I want to do a large full color piece of a tundra swan on elephant ivory but I want to make SURE that the technique I think will work actually will work before I do something like that. The colors in the swan image are very soft and muted. The ink colors straight out the bottle are shockingly bright so I'd have to do a LOT of mixing. I'm going to start with a small pendant just to practice some color stuff. Subject matter: peacock (colorful!!). This is ready to be transferred to ivory. I really prefer working with etching ink but it doesn't work very well for color. So I'll be using liquid drawing ink. Hmm, where are my tiny brushes...
It's been feeling slightly fall-like but not quite, it's still getting hot during the afternoons. It did rain a little last night. Not a measurable amount though. It did make a rainbow though. The bird population is changing. I hear the white crowned sparrows along the creek. 2 of the 3 hummingbird species are leaving town. I've heard sandhill cranes in the last week (I MUST go to the preserve with The Beast camera this fall!). The horses are getting fuzzy. I'm trying to ride Shylah and Dusty each at least three times a week. Shylah needs exercise. Dusty needs training. Oh heck, they both need both things. Shylah's energy level seems better. She's been on her new diet (added beet pulp, may do other changes too but I'm taking it one step at a time) for about two weeks.
Working with Dusty is a challenge, sometimes it feels like the blind leading the blind, with both of us having to learn about gaits. When Dusty was here for a while two years ago I never got him consistently gaiting and felt like I never could. There seems to be more potential now. Did I magically learn something in those two years? I guess so, plus just doing a whole lot more riding helps a lot. He'll do it, though I don't know enough about TWH's to tell you whether he's foxtrotting (he does that) or doing a running-walk (does he do that yet?) or what. He does about 4843809348 different things and I REALLY have a hard time telling them apart. I know walk, and I can get him going at a very extended walk. I know when he's trotting because it feels like I'm going to bounce into the treetops (UGH). His canter is SO smooth that I have a VERY hard time telling when he's at a slow canter versus a "gait" of some sort. I'm sure you gaited horse people are laughing at me, it must be very easy for you to tell. But I come from the "walk trot canter whoa" world, so you throw and extra few things in there and I'm lost. JJ says listen to the hoofbeats, I want a 4 beat smooth gait. It's so much easier to hear that on the ground. In the saddle it's much harder to hear the hoofbeats over the squeaky saddle and the wind whistling past my ears. Anyway, he's doing much better, but getting him to maintain a gait is going to take a lot of time, it either falls apart into a trot or he throws his nose in the air and starts cantering, and just when he's going well we're at the end of the pasture and have to turn around and go back the other way. My goal for him is to be a really solid trail horse (hmmm...? He's kind of a fruitcake sometimes) and I really want to get him gaiting well. Heck, he's a TWH, he needs to be able to do what he's supposed to do!
I'm no expert, but...
WALK: listen (or feel rather) four even beats at a slow pace, wieght distribution is 40/60 hind to front (most weigth on front end)
TROT: feel two even beats with diagonals hitting at the SAME time, weight distribution is 50/50 hind to front
CANTER: feel three ground beats with fourth suspended beat, three ground beats are 1st rear hits, then opposite rear and it's diagonal front hit at same time for 2nd beat, and then lead front hits for 3rd beat, with fourth beat suspended before 1st rear starts over, Weight distribution is 60/40 hind to front (more weight on haunches). on gaited horses this gate can feel like a rocking chair. can't mistake this beat unless you are doing a western pleasure slow canter in which case you'd know because it takes an extremely collected horse with lots of flex and impulsion to do it
GALLOP: back to a four beat, faster than the canter, you'll dern sure know when your in this one because you will really be moving and the head (the horse's) will stretch out to follow the beat (watch Black Stallion or Sea Buscuit)
FOX TROT: uneven four beat lateral gait, with slight extended pause between beats 1,2 and 3,4. it's almost a two beat, but on diagonals my understanding is that the front hits slightly before the rear giving you that pause. You'd probably know if he was doing this. I'm told the faster fox trots are not as smooth as a running walk.
RUNNING WALK: four even beats, same foot fall as walk, but faster and smoother than the walk. if the horse seems like he is in a hurry traveling at trotting speed but with four beats, this is probably what he's doing
PACE: two beat gate where same side feet are moving forward and hitting together, generally faster and smoother than the trot (50/50 weight distrubution?), has a side to side feel.
Hope this helps. Feel, don't listen. Bare back helps if you feel comfortable doing it.
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