Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leaping back into it - gearing up for Breyerfest...!

Well the paints and sculpting tools are pretty much unpacked. Aaaand I'm making up for lost time now! :) I've been sculpting a lot as well but more "progress" can be shown here with 3 new horses I've airbrushed basecoats onto...
(flat feet eek!) ;)

Actually, to be honest, in part I'm airbrushing like mad first and foremost because I want to get a feel for my new airbrush and working in a somewhat different sort of space (technically the same amount of room but no shelves and well, basically it's a little less room).. Anyhow, airbrushing with my new Christmas (birthday?) gift Iawata HP Plus airbrush- without risk of harm to others. ;) Which lead me to thinking about former horses I've painted up basecoats with an airbrush first in the past... my old badger finally clogged and I gave up on that notion for a while. However here are some fun 'before' and 'after' photos

and after;

Seriously!! That's the same guy in both pics.. clearly I changed my mind a tad about the color.. ;) In this pic he's a bit less washed out and maaaaybe you can see how the oil layers look over the airbrushing a bit more realistically?

Tx to Nikki for this 'after' pic to compare here. & There's a pic of him here too from NAN that's taken with flash (I think) but it's less washed out than mine.. I like to think of him as a 'horse of a different color'..he really did look different in different places more so than most.

My fear is that some dayglo colors I come up with will appear in some lighting. I struggle with this. I want my layers to build in such a way that light passes through some of the oil paint and hits pigments below to impart a sheen look - but at the same time not have some glaring color beneath glow in some lighting that has near x-ray effects! :) No but seriously.. I have a couple horses I won't sell even though they sometimes win.. because the coats underneath are marred and the oils over top are thin & transparent enough in some show halls that well; their figurative & literal 'slips are showing through!'.

So here are some others that I happen to have taken pics of in their raw nekkid airbrushed ness...
Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig's sculpture "Otto" before;

and then after;

Tx to Jackie for those 'after' pix! :)

I don't have many other before/after pics.. even though I've used airbrushing before and after a lot. USUALLY when I've got a new horse and want it to have a presentable coat for a show sooner rather than later... because up until last spring my airbrush and I were not getting along very well. I did however struggle and do up this gal for a quickie picture session, before adding oils.

and then after;

So you can see here that I made a real effort in this case to paint the horse as close to my final coloration in airbrush first, and then do the oil layers afterwards allllmost the same color (except I chose to back up and go redder. I like the effect in real life.. the slightly darker coat underneath sort of mimics real horse skin more. (ok, well I could be kidding myself :-P but I like to think it does?) But backing up to lighter shades is a matter of very very minor degrees...

Anyhow, so that's where I'm going with the 4 horses I showed at first. Here there are below (hoping to be done in time for Breyerfest's Artisian Gallery)... individually with a few thoughts..

I personally just adore this coloration..that warmblood/drafty type dappling around the thinner skinned areas! All the same, several layers of oils should balance it out and make it, I dunno how to explain,"bloom" more? We'll see.. I've painted a few like this before and people were confused as to what I used to paint them (especially that undappled bay Hazel above - she was airbrush, 2-3 coats of oils... and then maaaybe some black charcoal/pastel dust in a few spots like ear points - just to save time). This dapply girl will probably be wrapped up mostly that way, probably w/o the pastel highlights since I have the time to do the black oils (they take forever to dry) on her points. :)

This too is another airbrush basecoat. I'm actually finding that hand painting dapples is almost as fast. Thing is it's not as good/fast at getting the shading. So I wanted to get the shading down first, and then go in and blend it out. This is the grainest of them, I'm anxious to see if I can blend it out enough.. as I want to add in some fleabite details that have people looking closely at her. I've got one commission horse left that I'm doing a similar paint job on.. he's better off than she is.. but better to refine the technique on my own resin & not her's I say. :)

This gal actually was shown as a prop 'extra' for some scenes at the last New England show I went to. She was mostly hand painted but her blending was done with an aibrush & some hasty pencil roaning... just to try it out. I might even erase those to be honest and get the underlayer smoother as well before adding roaning hairs over it.

And this gal outside getting a 'color check'! That's my fiance's hand, not mine. I have big man hands but not that manly. I guess they don't look so bad here but I feel the need to clarify that. Neurotic much Morgen? ;) Anyhow, I am aiming for flaxen chestnut, but I feel I may have gone into the realm of liver already... we'll see I guess. Hrmm... The mane/tail are just lightly painted beige for the time being..

And with all that, more horses need to be painted TOO as well as a sculpture to sculpt. So I'd better get back to that. 7 weeks.. I can do it.. I can I can..

I just thought I should take a sec to explain the whole evolution from my painting desk at least. I know some artists work like me and get their acrylic base coats pretty close to their final colors - no matter what media they work in... and other artists prefer to have a single color base coat to work off of. So this is just me, trying to make myself work smarter. All of the airbrushed basecoats I've done still resulted in very smooth horses that seem to be very well received. So I'm making a real effort to focus on what works bestest for me. :)

Sorry to be so quite over here this year & hope all is well with folks out there!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In need of background ideas...

Soooooooo I thought to myself last night, wouldn't it be fun to have a new horse AND a new medallion to bring to Breyerfest?

As if I don't have enough to do in the next two months but well, it seems do-able if I really put my nose to the grindstone.

This little guy with 2hrs or so into him thus far is the donkey "Gleep" who (you might remember?) passed through my ownership for a year and now lives with friends who have the perfect set up for him. Anyhow, I'm sorta floating around about what kind of background is most appropriate for a treat-pout face there. He's gonna be on the hairy side too, I'm just starting with him here. ;)

Cactus? Hay? Rocks? A big ole star??? :D

And here's the status quo on my other fellow. :)

And I REALLY should get off the computer now. Neighbor's kid brought over a grape Nehi but really just wanted to play with the dog here. Back to keeping an eye on that.. ;) Yeah... just heard a crash - eek! Ciao!

PS - I ****SWEAR**** to you this is not my version of babysitting.. HONEST! ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pluggin along over here..

Still haven't unpacked a good deal of the studio though! :D

It's been a matter mostly of picking at projects to see where and how to arrange things. Overall there's a little less room because I've moved my desk & books from the living room into the painting room.. on the PLUS side of that, I can now skip printing out references at times. There are 2 smaller rooms (whereas before I had 1 for both painting and sculpting AND threw some packing peanuts & boxes into the mix to make it all static-y!). I haven't decided where/how I'll be packing much in here - thus far it's been roll with it and see what works.

I have a "studio" dog too as of yesterday. She's taken to following me around and laying at my feet. When I'm doing something she's not allowed to partake in (like cooking) she's decided that laying over by my computer chair is best. ;)

Anyhow, so I really just wanted to post a few quick pics of this guy. I primered him last week to see where he's at. There's some "schlerm" and odd areas where I still need to build up - TONS to smooth out.. and then I get to dive into the detailing.

The horse to his right is a Candidus by Ann Harris - a somewhat large traditional (accurate I think though to 1:9 because he is a WB stallion)... anyhow, just to give some perspective on this boy's scale as a pony sized (14hh) traditional scale himself). The bit of the bust off to the left is an old project that hasn't gone anywhere in a while.. Probably would cost a ton to get cast as it's fairly large so for now his mane has been serving as my spare epoxie depository. ;)

New studio dog candid..

I have more (of both actually) but well right now uploading is a little slow and gave me errors a few times... Her name is Butterbean, she came from the shelter with this name.. it's very southern apparently (and no, I don't believe I've ever had a butterbean actually!). I'm sure I will soon now.. Lessee.. she was a Humane Society shelter dog, she came from a high-kill shelter to the local one - we decided to go with the place that vetted and spay/neutered themselves & pay the higher fee. Because we are all for that sort of thing and for a variety of reasons. There are stray dogs ALL over the place down here. Who knows, we might get another eventually (or soon even) but right now 1 is plenty while we're getting settled.

She's pretty laid back and adaptable. She really is thrilled to have her own possessions. My fiance Oakes took off her collar last night (she came with it) to scratch her neck. She proceeded to take the collar with her into her crate. She was a little disappointed when I took it out (she wasn't chewing on it).. so I had to put it back on her as a compromise. Sincerely, she's a hoarder. I've seen hoarder dogs, they're pretty funny. At least she seems very good about the house breaking and crate stuff so far. She likes her little cave and secure places where she can see us (and have her toys she brings with her). I'll be keeping an eye on territoriality of course too. So far so good about socializations. No issue with me taking yummy bones away and giving back - or interfering while she tries to eat (actually to put more food in the tiny bowl we have here).

But mostly? I just love the sound of a dog chewin away on it's bones while I work and having 'play breaks' in my workday too! :D

And with that... it's time to get back to work here (ok, well after lunch & another play break!) ... ;)