July 2012
See my current artwork on Etsy

The Kelpie is the legendary water horse of Scottish and Irish Celtic mythos. Far from being a gentle pony, this wild unseelie beast would lure unsuspecting people onto its back, then carry them into the water to devour them. Often described with black, seal-like skin and a mossy, constantly dripping mane and tail, the Kelpie could sometimes be found grazing among normal horses near bodies of fresh water.

I decided to repaint this traditional Breyer grazing mare, bought in sad condition at an antique shop, in the Kelpie’s image. I sanded the Breyer mold off the inner leg and filled in a few divots in the seams. The horse is painted in black (there aren’t any green highlights on the body despite tricks of the light) with a gray and mossy green mane and tail. The eyes are green with red pupils (you probably oughtn’t mention to this Kelpie that her eyes look a bit like olives, not if you know what’s good for you!) I left her finish a bit rough and unsanded deliberately; this is not supposed to be a pretty creature, nor is she particularly civilized about her grooming. While she grazes, she glances up to see if there is a likely victim coming down the way, waiting patiently for her next meal.

She is painted in acrylics with several coats of sealant to protect the paint, and her eyes, nostrils and hooves have been glossed. She is 1:9 scale, about 6 1/2″ tall and 10″ long.

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