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Wonder Horse Part 1   |   Wonder Horse Part 2   |  Wonder Horse Part 3

Part Three of a Three Part Series by Bette Largent
Finishing up Rosebud! Our wonder of a horse.

Ask your hardware salesman for a can of green and blue plaid paint!
The Super Bowl is over, it is the month of the groundhog and we probably have 6 more weeks of winter. It is time to finish up those winter projects or perhaps to begin one.

I have painted the plaid on our little wonder pony using the dark green from the front breastplate and black. Every good plaid has a black thin line. All plaids are simply repetition of vertical and horizontal lines. The trick is to paint each line, thick or thin, when the surface is dry. It is also a great way to bring all the colors you have used in your trappings together. I have also added an outer outline on the border of the lapels so they do not become "lost" in the body color. A new hole for the real horse tail has been drilled.

Silk flowers, modeling paste and glue
I had such good luck adding the fabric for the front breast piece that I decided to add "carved flowers and leaves" using the same method. This will also help the composition by distracting from the too large proportions of the back of the animal.

Silk flowers, modeling paste and glue
The attachments are actually silk flowers that I have applied 5 to 6 coats of the Liquitex modeling paste- hard. I then glued them onto the horse, sometimes even drilling small holes to hold the stems. I used ordinary wood glue. I made paper mache' stuffing to support the flowers by soaking paper towels with water and Elmers glue and pushing it into the gaps under the flowers. When this had dried, I coated the entire surface again with the modeling paste, painting it on with a synthetic flat brush. They soon attained the appearance of real, carved flowers.

Teddy bear finial
At this point, I also glue gross-grained ribbon onto the wooden pole in a spiral pattern. It will be primed with two coats of the rust-red primer and then painted gold. Voile! A carousel pole. This one has a teddy bear finial, which was a pre-made teddy bear ornament component.

Mauve stitching has been added to the saddle, bridle, and to the plaid pattern and the lapel pinstriping. This continues the circle of color. The flowers and leaves are painted using the alkyd paints, beginning with leaves and working to the flowers in the center. All the colors are pulled from our fabric swatch, as shown in the previous article.

The flowers and leaves are painted using the alkyd paints
The flowers are brought down through the mane and onto the green breast piece. You can tape the flowers onto the surface to check your composition before gluing them on. The photo also shows the added tendrils of the mane plus the painting process of the pole.

Rosebud has proven to be too pretty to be relegated to Lissa's room. A light blue script-monogram of L.L. has been added to the bridle piece, a gold ring on the bit, and an upper row of teeth. Her transformation has truly been a wonder and she has provided a ride for a parade of favorite teddy bears, porcelain dolls and even snuggled up to the Christmas tree during the holidays.

The photo below shows the eager participants of the workshop group of the Washington Antique Carousel Society. They all enjoyed practicing their carousel painting skills on their little ponies. They will soon be painting the real wooden carousel horses that will adorn their own carousel.

The Washington Antique Carousel Society

Rosebud Complete!

Wonder Horse Part 1   |   Wonder Horse Part 2   |  Wonder Horse Part 3

Click to order

Bette Largent is a professional carousel horse restoration artist from Washington State, and the author of Paint The Ponies, a guide for those who are interested in learning the art of painting carousel figures.

Click Here for information on ordering her book.

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(c) 2004-2022 Gary Nance
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