I found some images for mechanical horses and blowing one up to full 8×10 size appears to be proportioned correctly for my carving. I am using Lynn Doughty’s carving technique for horses. Basically the horse is made of several separate pieces of wood so that the grain can be properly oriented to strengthen delicate areas. And it also makes certain areas easier to carve! The grain in this piece is running from front to back because the legs are extended rather than being in a standing posistion. The body is actually two separate pieces with dowels joing the planed surface of the boards. This allows you to cut the profiles with legs in different positions. And it makes it much easier to carve the insides of the legs and hooves when you are carving them as separate sides. The legs and particularly the hooves are very delicate, because the grain is quite short in that area. I will complete carving the legs before gluing the two pieces together to finish carving the body and saddle. The body and the head will be separate pieces with the grain running vertically, but the techniques used for painting and finishing will hide any joint lines, plus basswood doesn’t have very distinctive grain patterns anyway. More to come!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mpounders1.blogspot.com