Tag Archives: progress

Peaceful Pastelling

After what feels like months prepping (actually, I guess it was) I am finally starting to put color on my two resin commissions. The two resins are Justice by Kristina Lucas Francis (the drafter) and Stacey Tumlinson’s mini Majestuoso (the Spanish).

Both horses are artist’s choice colors and they are both going to be chestnut, although very different shades. Justice will be a flaxen chestnut tobiano and Maj will be a deep red chestnut with a hint of metallic shine. At least, that’s the plan!

I am also doing my fourth attempt at a palomino on Chryselephantasia. I did a palomino earlier this year who turned out lovely and was almost effortless… and now this. She is really making me work, but I think I’ve got things right this time.

yellow ponies

The above picture is from a week ago. Chrys was still getting her main body color, and the two resins are getting their yellow-tan undercoats. It was funny working on three yellow horses for a while there.

Since then the two resins have taken a turn toward orangey chestnut.

drafter 12-29-13

As I like to do at about this stage, I also added some basic acrylics so I can start visualizing the finished horse. I blocked in Justice’s tobiano pattern too, so I know where I need to keep going on the chestnut. He’s a bit overly orange right now, but I’m pretty confident in where he’s going.

Majestuoso has a longer way to go, since he’ll be a much darker chestnut.

Maj 12-29-13

Blocking in his dark mane and tail really shows just how far he still needs to go. I love how even just painting the eyes black suddenly brings the horses to life. This guy has a lot of layers left.

Chrys is getting closer and closer- she too got her hair and marking blocked in, and I took the tape off her hooves.

Chrys 12-29-13

At this point I’m only pastelling her greys, and fixing a few boo boos in her coat. Once that’s done, she’ll be getting her whites for real. I’m pleased with how soft her coat came out (finally!) and the super subtle dappling.

I’m so happy to be pastelling again! But I’d better keep up with sculpting and prepping too, so I’ll have a new herd ready for color when these guys are done. I’ve got at least two bays and two appaloosas coming up…

 

 

 

 

Cold Snap

I was really looking forward to getting home and enjoying some hobby time, but weather and life had other plans. We came home to a freakish cold spell- the coldest it’s been in Oregon in my lifetime. Since cold can wreak havoc on primer and fixative, I’m limited in what I can work on.

To add to that, I can home from California with a bad case of poison oak- so bad that my whole face swelled up and one eye was swollen shut! So my downtime pretty much involved lying on the couch icing my face. Luckily, I also got some steroids to take so I was feeling (and looking) better pretty quick.

I was jonesing for some hobby time in general, but I also wanted to get back to work on the portrait horse I’m making for my trainer. I base-coated him in acrylic and I decided to try doing a bit of pastel on him and see how the fixative behaved in our freezing temperatures.

Adding pastels

Adding pastels

I figured that if the fixative did go wonky, I would only need some sanding and another coat of acrylic to get him back. Luckily, the fixative worked pretty well, so I was able to make a lot of progress on this guy.

After a few layers in

After a few layers in

At first I made him a little too red, but I was able to back it out a little and I think I got the nice red bay I was going for. I did several layers of pastel over a weekend to get his body color where I wanted it, and I’ve been using my free time on weeknights to work on his acrylic details.

Working on his intricate blaze

Working on his intricate blaze

Ducky is a somewhat challenging horse to do a portrait of because he has a very intricate blaze, and even his leg markings have pretty unique edges. I’ve been doing a lot of layers followed by buffing.

Duckys blaze

The temperatures are still mostly below freezing, but they’re supposed to come back to the usual 40’s later this week. Even with my success (and/or luck) with fixative on Ducky, I don’t want to try doing primer, or spraying fixative on a grain-prone color like palomino. So those projects will have to wait.

Detailing his markings

Consulting my notes while working on details

But I’m sure glad I was able to make progress here! Hopefully I’ll be gifting this little Ducky next week.

Getting Antsy

I’m still in California hanging out with family, but I’m starting to get antsy and miss my plastic ponies :) I have so many exciting horses in progress and I’m eager to get back to work on them.

Poor Chryselephantine is being repainted AGAIN. For those of you counting, this is my fourth attempt to get the golden palomino I’m looking for. I bought some new pastels just for the endeavor, and so far so good- but time will tell.

Drying after a layer of pastel and fixative

Drying after a layer of pastel and fixative. I’m trying to preserve the paint on her hooves, hence the blue-tape booties.

The portrait horse I’m doing is getting his chocolaty base coat in acrylic. Normally I would do a bay with all pastel from a white base, but I wanted to hurry him up a little. Plus he’s a gift for a non-hobbyist, so that perfect workmanship-winning color is less important. He’s a gift for my trainer since I’m leaving her barn (for one closer to home) and so I want to have him done soon.

Ducky 11-24-13

Ducky is a slightly CMed G1 Seabiscuit with a new tail, new forelock, gelding parts, and corrected legs.

I finally got up the courage to start adding a new mane and tail to my beautiful Doodlebug resin. He’s getting a short, tack-friendly mane and a flowing tail. He’ll be a bright chestnut… in a million years when I finish sculpting him!

Sharky 11-23

Quick-drying epoxy under a desk lamp

I’m continuing to rejoice in my beautiful new primer and getting these guys prepped. The Gallus and Majestuoso are commissions and the Wee Wyakin and Rivet are mine. Rivet still needs some sculpting work, but the other three are getting very close to painting time.

primer herd 11-24

The primer herd drying on our kitchen island

With all these guys going, my in-progress cupboard is quite full. I’m stoked to get back to working on these, and hopefully have a few done in time for the spring shows.

I’m a little late on the announcement, but Anna Kirby at Dreamflite Design is running a Black Friday weekend sale on her stablemate English saddle tutorial. If you want to make your own tack, I highly recommend this tutorial! For this weekend it’s only $5 for a full color PDF! Get the details on her Facebook page.

I won’t have much to report til I get home on Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll quickly get back into a routine… including plenty of pony time!

Broken Promises

Despite my hopes, I have still been failing at blogging this month. All my hobby time has been devoted to getting things done for the Sept. 7 show. That endeavor is going well, but I still have a lot to do.

I was pretty on top of things until this happened:

Chrys - 8-21-13

I was having several issues with her and despite my efforts to fix them and continue, I knew that they were never going to be resolved completely, and that they were going to always bug me. So I’ve stripped her and I’m now re-prepping, re-adding veins and wrinkles… and have a short window in which to get color on her again.

Alpo is coming along really nicely, so *knock wood* I hope to have him done in his new improved look for the show. I also made him a custom travel box to keep him safe, and took the pictures so I can do a mini tutorial.

I definitely have my work cut out for me hobby-wise in the next week weeks (not to mention work, a good friend’s wedding, and in-laws visiting) but dang-nabbit I will be ready for this show!

Progress, here and there

I wanted my next post to be the first in a series about molding and casting my rider doll, but those posts are… postponed…until I can successfully write about it without expletives. My first try was rather bumpy, but I’ve reassessed and have a grand plan for Success on the second try- whenever I get a chance to do that.

Meanwhile, I’ve been progressing pretty well on my other goals. I’m done resculpting Alpo and he has his tail back on. I’m painting him white as a base for some new clothes. He’ll still be a grey, but slighty different. I really liked how his eyes, muzzle and teeth are though, so I’m doing my best to reserve those features while I redo the rest.

Alpo 8-9-13

Chryselephantine 2.0 is getting her deeper color! And some little health dapples too. I’m working hard to avoid grain on her- buffing between every layer which means more work, twice the fixative, and more time. But worth it if I can avoid the dread grain.

Working on her definitely makes me happy that I usually do Stablemates. She’s only a Pebbles but man! There is a lot of space to cover with pastel! And my hand gets tired holding her. Remind me never to say yes to a Trad! : P

Chrys 8-9-13

The Hale resin has both his details and a name! This photo does not do him justice, but meet D’Artagnan, the blue roan Breton stallion. He’s done except for his eyes, which needs glossing. He was the second resin I got, and I’m excited to have him all dressed. I worked really hard on his roaning too, and I love how it came out. Hopefully I get a chance to take some better pictures soon.

d'artagnan 8-6-2013

Click to enlarge the roany goodness

Nightfoxes minor repairs are coming along well too. I’ve also been doing a bit of brainstorming on performance ideas, so all in all I’m feeling a lot better than I was a while ago about getting things done. I just got to keep fingers crossed on this pesky casting business…

So behind!

Yikes! Can you believe it’s already August? I mean, I can, I just wish it wasn’t. I could use another month to catch up on… everything.

One thing I’m very behind on is blogging. I have a lot of pictures and progress waiting to be shared. The other thing I’m behind on are my goals for the Rose City Live at the beginning of September. Here’s what I’m hoping to get done by then:

  • repair Nightfox’s finish
  • finish acrylic details on Hale resin- and name him!
  • sculpt, cast, and paint a rider for Nightfox
  • prep and paint Chryselephantine 2.0
  • repair and repaint Alpo

WIP herd 8-2-13

And here’s where I am on those goals:

  • Nightfox has some acrylic repair, but needs socking and pastel
  • Hale needs work on his hooves, eyes, and chestnuts. Also a name.
  • The rider is sculpted and awaits casting- more on this later!
  • Chryselephantine is just getting her first layer of acrylic, along with last minute details like veining.
  • Alpo has a new leg but still needs to be sanded and get his tail back on. Plus painting!

So I have a long way to go. Right now I’m waiting for Blick Art to open, so I’m taking the time to catch up the blog on my recent antics! For there are many.

As mentioned above, Chryelephantine is finally getting some paint!

Chrys - acrylic layer

I don’t always do an acrylic layer before pastels, but it can be helpful in speeding up the process. Plus, I’m trying to follow the basic steps I used on an earlier palomino that I really liked, and this is how I started. Also, this light color does a great job of showing last minute blemishes that need to be fixed before I move into pastels.

During this stage, I am also adding last minute details with modeling paste. To show the part of her mane that is shaved (as per Saddlebred show standards) I did a layer of modeling paste along her bridlepath to the forelock, with a bit of shaved-hair texture.

Chrys - bridle path

She also got added veining and some neck wrinkles. Next she’ll get a bunch of socking, and then it’s time to add pastels! I’m really excited to get her in clothes.

Lots more stuff coming… my first adventures in resin casting! Building a full-scale panel jump! General madness! Stay tuned :)

A Short Tale of a Long Tail

With the MEPSA donation horses done and shipped, I’ve turned my attention to preparations for a live show in early September. Of course, by “preparations” I mean all the new stuff I want to have done, not actually preparing for the show…

One of my main goals is to have my Saddlebred mare done. When I last posted about her she was getting close to done but still lacked a tail. Since then I’ve done hours of sanding and refining, resculpted her lower legs for the 3rd time (sigh) and added a tail.

The first thing I did was cover the rest of her in plastic. I have a bad habit of getting epoxy all over my fingers and then all over the otherwise-smooth model, which means more sanding later. I’m trying to avoid that here, using plenty of blue tape and a cut up plastic bag.

Chrys 2.0 tail 01

Next I built up the wire tail with tin foil, secured and stiffened with super glue & baking soda. Once I had the basic shape built, I started to block in the shape with chunks of epoxy.

Chrys 2.0 tail 02

The tail took quite a bit of epoxy. I could maybe have done more with the foil to avoid this, but oh well. It’s funny working in this larger scale- normally I wouldn’t go through that much epoxy in an entire drastic custom!

Chrys 2.0 tail 03

Once the tail was blocked in with the epoxy, and it had dried a bit, I started to add the hair detail. I’m not great at this, but with a lot of shaping and brushing and shaping I got something I was sort of happy with. I use denatured alcohol to smooth all my epoxy including manes and tails. I think I learned that from Jen Buxton who learned it from Tiffany Purdy.

Chrys 2.0 tail 04

After more sanding, primer, and little changes, Chryselephantine 2.0 has a tail!

Chrys 2.0 7-23-13

I’m still working on smoothing and sanding, but she’s getting so close! I’m excited to start adding color.