Sunday, February 18, 2018

Winners circle

NaMoPaiMo is a lot like endurance racing: To finish is to win. Every single one of these models is a winner.
That said, some stars shine a little more brightly than others. Here's a quick look at some of my favorite members of the NaMoPaiMo class of 2018, starting with Maggie Garlock's little warmblood.
This was the first horse to be finished this year, and also, the first to be shown. Great job, Maggie!
Jean Sorensen was my first friend in the model horse hobby. We met through a penpal ad in Just About Horses and have kept in touch through snail mail and Facebook for thirty years now. I was so excited when she signed up to paint this year, and even more excited when I when I saw what she painted.
You should do this more often, Jean. You're really good at it!
Tegan Skaggs is also really good at this, but like Jean, it had been several years since she'd painted a model. Now she's making up for lost time. In addition to finishing her official NaMoPaiMo entry...
she's also completed a gorgeous bonus horse... 
and there are more on the workbench. Keep going, Tegan!
Last but certainly not least is Darleen Stoddard's amazing Tadpole resin.
Darleen is best known for her tack making skills, but I think we can all agree that she's just as talented in the finishwork department.
Congratulations again to Maggie, Jean, Tegan and Darleen. You are all winners!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Disaster strikes

Today I had a disaster. 
It wasn't the first I've had with this horse...
but it was the last, at least for this go round. Now we're back to the primer stage.
I feel like I should be sad about this, but I'm really not. As much as I want this horse to be done, I also want her to be done right. I got close this time. Next time will be better.
With any luck, it will also be faster. I'd really like to finish her before the end of February. Realistically, I know that's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up to the task. If I'm not... Well, that's okay, too. The success of NaMoPaiMo isn't tied to the completion of this particular horse. No matter what happens with her, I feel like I'm already a winner.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

NaMoPaiMo day fourteen

We are halfway through NaMoPaiMo, and there are fifty five models in the winners' circle.
Mine is not one of them. 
I was hoping to be done, or at least mostly done, by now. Instead, I've lost a lot of time to real life drama, non-drying oil paint, and most recently, a broken leg.
I think she's finally ready for the flea bites, but I am scared. This is either going to be really bad or really good. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A hairy situation

I share my life-and my house-with two beautiful, fluffy dogs.
I've long since accepted that everything I own will be covered in dog hair... 
but that doesn't mean I want it in my finishwork.
I'm not the only hobby painter with this problem, so today's third Tutorial Tuesday post is all about dealing with pet hair and other random fuzzies.
Charlotte Donahue believes in a proactive approach. She keeps a designated brush on a used dryer sheet next to her work bench. The dryer sheet helps reduce the static electricity that causes pet hair and debris to cling to her paint projects. She paints with pastels and before sealing each layers, she brushes away all the visible cling-ons.
photo by Charlotte Donahue
Stephanie Blaylock uses a toothpick for much the same purpose.
photo by Stephanie Blaylock
She writes: What’s the one surprising tool you can’t paint without? Mine is a basic wooden toothpick. I use it to gently remove weird hairs and dust from my model's  finish. It works like magic!  
photo by Stephanie Blaylock
The toothpick is most effect before sealing. After sealing I tend to use the sanding stick. You can find these at most craft stores.
photo by Stephanie Blaylock
But what if you're having trouble seeing the dust and dog hair until it's too late? Emma Witney-Smith offers this creative solution: I use a UV light to help find fuzzies before sealing. They usually fluoresce a different colour than the rest of the model, which makes them easy to find and remove! Here's a model in normal light...
photo by Emma Witney-Smith
and under the UV light. What a difference!
Thank you so much, Charlotte, Stephanie and Emma. With your help, we can all look forward to having a little less pet hair on our ponies!

A pop of color

Last week, Mindy Berg shared this tip on the NaMoPaiMo Facebook page: Don't assume anything to be just black and white. This little zebra foal is surrounded by the colors I used in her "simple" coat.
Canadian artist, Lynn Cassels-Caldwell further expands on this idea in a post titled: The power of PURPLE! 
She writes: I had been thinking about how I could pop my model's colour, and Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig posted a great article about using unconventional colour mixes.  I was so inspired! So I did some experimenting with purple for the 2nd layer. I worked it out carefully on my palette. I'm thrilled it turned out perfect for this guy! I normally would have used just Van Dyck Brown for the darks, but the purple mix was so much livelier. 
Here is a colour progression showing the body colours with the purple mix beside the Van Dyck Brown, which looks dull by comparison.
Thanks for that colorful reminder, ladies. I'll be sure to work it into my own blogging finishwork soon!

Painting a multi-color tail

It's Tuesday so that means it's time for some tutorials! This first one comes from Laura Skillern, and should be a great help to anyone painting pintos or Appaloosas. Thanks, Laura!

How to Paint a Multi-color Tail

by Laura Skillern

It’s really, really, REALLY hard to paint in scale hair in a stablemate. However, a multi-color tail like on a tobiano still has a texture to it even if you can’t see the individual hairs.
I combined a couple techniques to find a happy medium. First, I alternated painting white and black hairs with a teeny tiny brush (18/0 spotter from Michaels).
Next, I went back over the tail alternating black and white Pan Pastels. I use an 1/8 inch angle brush for this. I try to get the black mostly in the deeper crevices of the tail to pump up the shading. I don’t dull coat in between the black and white, instead letting them blend on one layer. I will repeat this step a couple times until I’m happy with it.
Finally, I finish off the black part of the tail with some Burnt Sienna pastel on the tops and tips so it’s a shaded black, not just a flat black. Feel free to brush on a lot more Burnt Sienna than you think you need because it will mostly disappear once it’s dullcoated. It takes a couple layers to get to the point you can barely see it.
Thanks again, Laura. My Hornet and I really appreciate this one!

Monday, February 12, 2018

NaMoPaiMo showcase - Vincent Lange

I have strong personal feelings for every single model that is created during NaMoPaiMo.
That said, some pieces are more memorable than others. 
Without a doubt, this year's most impressive piece to date is German artist, Vincent Lange's ambitious The Lion and the Unicorn.
This two piece set features a customized Breyer Wyatt...
and a customized Safari (I think) lion.
Both the lion...
and the unicorn are outstanding single pieces.
But together...
they are magic.
Congratulations, Vincent, on another successful NaMoPaiMo. I'm already looking forward to next year's entry!