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!

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