Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NaMoPaiMo day twenty two

I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I probably won't be able to finish Aggie before the end of February.

At one point, this was my worst case scenario. I somehow believed the success of NaMoPaiMo was tied to the completion of a single horse.

I no longer subscribe to that theory.

With or without my Aggie, NaMoPaiMo has been an amazing success. Hundreds of hobbyists from nineteen countries have gathered together to share and paint. It has been a tremendous experience. I have learned so much, and not just about painting.

Also, it's not like I haven't finished anything.
After four years on (and mostly off) the workbench, my BHR Loper is this close to being finished.
He may not my official NaMoPaiMo model, but he still counts, right?
Although I'm not the only one who's going to miss the deadline, I'm happy to report that new horses are being added to the NaMoPaiMo Winners' Circle every day. 
photo and model by Charlotte Donahue
Stacy Quick is nine months pregnant, so her personal NaMoPaiMo timeline was shorter than twenty eight days. Fortunately, she was more than up to the task. This is her Breyer Wyatt which was customized to a flea-bitten grey Lipizzan stallion.
photo by Stacy Quick
Darleen Stoddard is well known for her tack making skills, but it turns out she's a pretty darn good painter, too! 
photo and model by Darleen Stoddard
This lovely dapple grey Ashquar was painted by my friend, Corina Roberts. Corina is in the midst of a personal fifty two horse challenge. This is horse number eighteen, and in my opinion, he's her finest piece so far.
photo and model by Corina Roberts
Continuing in the grey theme, here's Oksana Kuks' Bint Soraya resin. A progress picture of this model was featured in the "Pencil Ponies" post. As you can see, she turned out great!
photo and model by Oksana Kuks
Moving on... here's a horse of a different color. Airen Chandler's peacock pegasus was painted with a variety of media, including airbrushed and handpainted acrylics, Pearl-Ex metallic pigments and metallic gel pens.

photo and model by Airen Chandler
As I look at all the finished models, the thing I find most satisfying is how NaMoPaiMo has brought together painters from all points on the spectrum.
photo and model by Dayle Steinke
There are (talented) beginners like Kitty Grubka...
photo and model by Kitty Grubka
and accomplished pros, such as Kate Schick...
photo and model by Kate Schick
and Jennifer Danza.
photo and model by Jennifer Danza
Everyone is sharing.
photo and model by Linda Perry_Horst
Everyone is creating.
photo and model by Bev Manderfeld
By all measures that matter, NaMoPaiMo has been a wonderful success. Congratulations to everyone who has finished their models, and also, to those of us who are still fighting the good fight. This is one event when even the "losers" are winners!

NaMoPaiMo showcase - Cheryl Farrens

I am personally invested in a lot of the NaMoPaiMo horses, but none more so than Cheryl Farrens' bone China Rosita. 
Cheryl won her in the raffle and decided to paint her for NaMoPaiMo.
Painting China isn't like painting resin or plastic. Fortunately, Cheryl decided to share pictures of each step in the process. Here's the first one. Her notes read: Clear glaze used was Mayco C105 and fired at cone 06.
The next picture shows the first layer of china paint. Cheryl uses water based china paint for the most part. She finds it dries quicker with less chance of smudging.
This is layer number two...
and layer number three.
Pinking and shading were added after that.
And here she with one of her kiln mates after their final firing.
She is absolutely gorgeous from one end...
to the other!
Thank you for supporting the Jennifer Show and NaMoPaiMo, Cheryl. I'm so glad you won that Rosita. You really did her justice!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tutorial Tuesday - blue eyes

A couple days ago, Emma Stovall uploaded this picture to the NaMoPaiMo Facebook page and asked for advice on how to make her blue eyes more realistic.
A few people offered pointers, but most of us responded like this,
and this... 
 and this!
At this point, Emma asked if I would like her to write a tutorial on painting blue eyes. Of course, I said yes, and here it is. Thank you so much, Emma!

How to Paint Blue Eyes

by Emma Stovall

(Let me know if you'd like my reference pics for any of these)

•model horse (my victim is an old body)
•acrylic paint- pool blue, white, black, cameo pink, too blue, real blue
•brushes of your choice 
•and gloss which is optional (I use clear finger nail polish)
First I paint the entire eye white, then add a bit of cameo pink to the corner.
Next I paint the outer layer of the iris with too blue acrylic paint. Please note, I did make the iris bigger after this picture was taken. 
Then I added a layer of 50/50 white and Pool Blue. 
With my smallest brush I use Pool Blue to make a splattered look and blend so that the middle part of the iris is darker the the outer part. There is more detail then you can see here. Unfortunately, I don't have a very good camera.
Next I use Too Blue acrylic paint to make a splatter around where the iris will be. 
Then I take a bit of Real Blue and add that to the middle of the Too Blue so the eye gets gradually darker. 
Finally, I add the pupil and gloss the eye. 
Thanks again, Emma. That was really helpful!

Tutorial Tuesday - Quickies

It's Tutorial Tuesday, and today's first post is a smorgasbord of quick tips on everything from prepping to color theory. Thanks to everyone who contributed their knowledge. I have learned so much from hosting NaMoPaiMo.

Prepping always comes before paint, so that's where we'll begin. Here's some words of wisdom from master prepper, Charlotte Donahue: Before priming, lay your models down on a clean sheet of paper, spray, quarter turn, spray, quarter turn ... repeat until you have sprayed all the way around. If you do it this way, you will have no primer on your fingers, and no toppled models. Plus, you can spray multiple models at a time.
photo by Charlotte Donahue
Ever wondered how to handle exposed wires?
Here's Charlotte's advice: Bondo spot putty is okay for exposed wires, but I prefer brush on resin gel. I buy it at Sally Beauty Supply. A tiny bottle costs about four dollars. One swipe over the wires and the coating is thick and tough.
photo by Charlotte Donahue
Speaking of beauty supplies, several people recommended make up brushes as an alternative to the traditional paint brush. Isaac Brushett says: These apply colours smoothly and evenly and are great for pigments and pastels. They can be purchased cheaply on eBay. 
Hanna Bear concurs. Here is a picture of her NaMoPaiMo model with a one dollar ELF make up brush that she calls "the best thing since sliced bread."
photo by Hanna Bear
In regards to mixing and storing paint, Jen Johnson shared this easy trick: I found these individual paint pots, and decided to text them with my white markings mixture. 
photo by Jen Johnson
It has been a month at least since I mixed up the paint, and it still is in great shape. I have one with a little diluted mixture as well. This doesn't keep quite as long, but it's still much longer than in a palette tray! This is a nice time saver for me, since I don't have to mix up paint each time I want to do markings. It's also a paint saver, since I'm not leaving so much dried up paint on the palette!
photo by Jen Johnson
It may be tempting to use those little pots in place of a palette, but that's not a good idea. Jennifer Kroll explains why:  Don't do this. Don't paint from jars. I told myself not to do it WHILE I WAS DOING IT, but I didn't stop. Then I got called away and didn't return to my desk for days. Now it's all dried. Not a huge loss since I needed to mix a new jar anyway (probably because I keep painting from the jar, and it's getting little dried chunks in it), but still a pain. Make sure you put your paint on the pallet and seal your paint jars immediately. Don't be like me. Lol.
photo by Jennifer Kroll
Here's a neat tip for painting white markings from Betsy Groff: When painting white markings in acrylics I always have a clean brush for removing paint from areas where it shouldn't be. Just dampen the brush with water, wipe off the excess water on a towel, and brush it towards the white areas. This should clean up the oops without having to go back and match colors.
photo by Elias Farley
Finally, for those of us who don't have the benefit of art education, Janelle Admason gives us a quick lesson on color theory. She writes: A color wheel is super useful for correcting and mixing colors. Horse too bright? Desaturate with light layers of grey. Too orange/red? Use an opposing color (blue/green) to bring the color back to neutral. A few layers of Titanium white pastels give a slight cool cast without greatly lightening the horse. If you're having trouble 'seeing' colors, paste your reference photo into image editing/drawing software (GIMP and Krita are free) and use the color picker to pull out the different shades within the coat.
Thanks again, Charlotte, Isaac, Hanna, Jen, Jennifer, Betsy and Janelle. These tips are awesome!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Blast from the past

Almost six years ago, I leased a Welsh Cob dressage pony named Trillium.
At the time, Trilli lived at Big Iron Ranch in Watkins, Colorado. 
She shared her field with a pinto draft cross named Samson.
and I loved Samson.
He was such a big, sweet guy. It was impossible not to love him.
I took almost as many pictures of Samson as I did of Trilli,
and his pattern was the inspiration for Roundapony's.
photo and finishwork by Jennifer Scott
Samson left Big Iron Ranch shortly before Trillium and I did. I was really sad to see him go, but over time, I mostly forgot about him.
Until today.
Ryan and I celebrated Presidents Day with a trip to off leash area at Cherry Creek State Park.
 We walked out along the creek...
and came back through the field.
There is a stable that shares a fence line with the dog park. 
I always look at the horses as I walk past, but this my eye was immediately drawn to a familiar looking pinto.
It was Samson! 
I recognized him immediately, and even though he did not acknowledge my presence, I was really happy to see him again.
This was a fun ending to an already good outing. I'm so glad I took a little time off from painting to go to the dog park today!