DeeAnn Kjelshus – Art by DeeAnn
|DeeAnn Kjelshus with her 2020 NaMoPaiMo horse|
|A group of horses by DeeAnn Kjelshus|
|Catalina resin by DeeAnn Kjelshus|
|Breyer mini Alborozo by DeeAnn Kjelshus|
|Valor resin by DeeAnn Kjelshus|
Karen Zorn/Zorn Art Studio
I do finishwork on horses with airbrushed basecoats, then and hand-created hair detail with colored pencils, and hand-painted patternwork in dilute white acrylic. I use smidgens of panpastels for noses, ermine spots, softening small areas, and mane/tail tips.
|Karen Zorn's 2019 Best Customs Contest Finishwork winner|
|Eberl Cobra mare by Karen Zorn|
Cons: airbrushing well without grain or spatter takes a lot of practice since airbrushes can be extremely fussy about the viscosity and the air pressure powering them. Replacing parts that wear or get accidentally damaged can be expensive. Horse-colors in the ready-to-use Golden High Flow line are pretty limited, and you have to mix up your own formulas.
|Mini Khemosabi by Karen Zorn|
Pros: easy control, and PrismaColor Premiers are inexpensive and readily available.
Cons: The urge to press down too hard will result in poor line quality that doesn’t want to stick to the horse. Use an extremely light sketching action. Layering is required, often 6-8 layers of hairs all over the entire horse. You must keep your pencil points extremely sharp, a good precision manual crank drafter’s pencil sharpener is important to have. You’ll go through a lot of pencils to keep them razor sharp.
|Fritz by Karen Zorn|
I like to use Golden Titanium White, in a soft-body tube diluted with Golden Airbrush Medium; or in the High Flow Line. Sometimes it can be hard to get the first layer of the thin white paint to stick to the sealer over your basecoat. Just keep moving the paint around in small areas at a time and it should adhere. If you really get in a jam, add a tiny dot of gesso. Finding the correct thickness of the white paint is really a matter of personal preference. The first bunch of layers on your pattern will look weird and amateur, and you will think “This will never work!” but if you allow each thin layer to dry, you will be able to apply many many layers on top to make the white opaque and brush-stroke free.
Paintbrushes: a use a cheap Michael’s brand round for covering larger areas. For detail, I prefer the really tiny 00000 round and liner brushes in sable if you can find them, and they can be pricey. There are some decent tiny synthetic sables done by Windsor and Newton as well as a company called AIT (those were found on Amazon).