Friday, February 23, 2018

Avoiding the trap

I was feeling pretty good about my speckled horse when I went to bed last night. Then I woke up this morning, logged onto Facebook and saw Melanie Miller's glorious fleabitten Upton resin...
and Mindy Berg's amazing Eberl Arabian.
I looked at those pictures and looked at my horse, and suddenly she didn't look as good as I'd remembered.

This is the point when I usually give up.

But... comparing your work to that of the hobby's most accomplished painters is a trap. Nothing good can come of it, and it's not what NaMoPaiMo is about. So instead of quitting, I gave myself a pep talk, picked up a paint brush and soldiered on.

Here is Maeve after several hours of concentrated work. 
She doesn't look like she was painted by Mel or Mindy, but that's okay. She's a Buxton, and that's good enough.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Today was SpeckleFest.
Using a toothbrush, I splattered thinned down acrylic paint on my NaMoPaiMo horse.
Then I used Stephanie's favorite tool to carefully refine the flea-bites. It worked great. 
I am really, really pleased with the day's progress, but I forgot to take a picture before I lost the light. Here's the daily collage instead.
I can't wait to see Miss Maeve among all the finished ponies. It's going to happen! I can feel it!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

NaMoPaiMo day twenty one

Today is the twenty first day of NaMoPaiMo. I feel as frazzled as Nina McCormick's little gray.
I'm not the only one.
photo by Sara Gifford
For every great success...
photo and finishwork by Susan Bensema Young
there is an equally dramatic setback.
photo by Kara Kunnen
It would be easy to get discouraged...
photo by Sheri Gordon
but most of us are persisting.
photo by Becky Hawkins
I think I can.
photo by Janet Mindt
I think I can.  
photo by Tibbi Searcher
I think I can.
photo by Kalah Fearn
I know we can.
Tomorrow, I'm going to tackle those flea bites.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Andrea's oil painting hack

I bet you thought I forgot that today was Tutorial Tuesday... Well, you were almost right. Thank you, Andrea Brygidyr for saving the day!

Oil Painting Hack

by Andrea Brygidyr

Back in the day of Leonardo Di Vinci, there were very limited paint options. Most paints were handmade by the artist with pigment and/or eggs (egg tempera). Then along came oil paints, which were usually preserved with linseed oil. These allowed artists to purchase high quality paint in a tube. Oil paints didn't dry out quickly, they didn't crack after being applied and they didn't smell like eggs! Oil paints were a total hit! 

Oils are known for their long drying time. This allows the artist to work slowly, which is a blessing as well as a curse. For model horses, its most often a curse, mostly because dust loves to find wet ponies. If painted thickly, oils can take over a month to dry... oh and it said that oil paint never fully dries, it just cures. 

However, I have a little hack that I learned in university that can help with this. Instead of a conventional plastic pallet, I use a piece of cardboard. 
The cardboard will absorb the oils from the paints, and this speeds up the drying time. Personally I dry brush my oils, and they are nearly dry in an hour.

Hope this helps someone!

NaMoPaiMo day twenty

As of this morning, there are one hundred models in the NaMoPaiMo winners circle.
Mine is not one one of them. 
However, she's come a long way since I stripped her on Friday.
On Saturday, I fixed her leg again. 
I primed her and started painting on Sunday.
This time I did a little more detailing on the acrylic basecoat.  
This made things progress faster when I started in with the pastels on Monday. 
Today, it's back to paint. 
Tomorrow, maybe, I'll try the flea bites again. There are only eight days left in the month, but I am determined. My girl is going to be part of the final collage. I can do it!

Van Gogh gallery

Last December, I asked seven of the hobby's best artists to paint Van Gogh medallions as a benefit for NaMoPaiMo. All seven agreed, and these are the gorgeous results.
Painted by Amanda Brock 
Painted by Jennifer Kroll
Painted by Jennifer Scott
Painted by Mindy Berg
Painted by Nikki Button
Painted by Stephanie Blaylock
Painted by Tiffany Purdy
Nikki's medallion sold immediately, mostly because Nikki did all the work. I've been meaning to list the others for more than a month... but somehow it hasn't happened. Apparently, one of NaMoPaiMo's most important lessons that I can't do everything myself.

Fortunately, I don't have to!
My friend, Anne Field, has generously offered to step in and help. She will be taking offers on Mindy's Van Gogh now through Thursday. Please consider making a bid on this beautiful piece by one of the hobby's best artists! All proceeds will benefit to NaMoPaiMo. Thank you, Anne and thank you, Mindy!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Emma's painting party

Have I mentioned how much I love NaMoPaiMo painting parties? Everything about this post makes me so happy. Thank you, Emma!

The London Model Horse Club's NaMoPaiMo Painting Party

by Emma Witney-Smith

Held: 17th February in Central London, UK
Attendees: Emma Witney-Smith, Amanda Dunning, Amber Hitchman, Charlotte Jago, Curtis Sayers, Suna Akiah and Suna's mum Mary. 

Back in December, filled with excitement and impatience that NaMoPaiMo was right around the corner, I decided to organise a painting party for members of the London Model Horse Club. As my guests will attest, when I have a long time to plan things, I go slightly crazy....

Party bags were made...
and filled with goodies....(thanks to Curtis for the picture of the contents) 
Stablemates were bought, prepped and primed...
and my twenty five year old sewing machine was dragged out of storage (along with my equally old sewing skills!) in order to make pony pouches so everybody's ponies could travel home in style.
And a cake was made! Well, bought and iced--I ran out of time on this one!
The plan was to meet at the nearby British Museum to see awesome horsey things, but train delays and traffic meant people arrived later than planned. Charlotte and I did manage to see my favourite bits: the Assyrian friezes depicting royal lion hunts. I love the beautiful sculpting on the  horses and the detail in the tack. One day I dream of making a performance scene based on these!
Suna, Mary and Charlotte continued looking around the museum whilst I tracked down people who were lost. They went to see the Parthenon marbles. I'm so jealous! Thanks to Suna for letting me use her photo here.
After the lost people had been collected, we ate lunch and then made our way back to the flat for painting! We started out filled with enthusiasm.
We chatted a lot, and slowly, horses started to come to life. Here's Charlotte's model in progress, looking a lovely slate grey, and Mary's bright red horse photobombing in the background!
This was Suna's first time using pigments. She struggled a bi , but said she definitely wants to try them again. I think her Andalusian is looking great here! 
One of the best parts of the day for me was seeing first-time painter, Amber get so into it. Her horse was a real stunner and won the popular vote at the end of the day--well worth the 'war paint' she got all over herself!
Another thing I loved seeing was people's different approaches to painting. Amanda used acrylics to paint this dapple grey, painting around the dapples first with darker paint and then shading with the airbrush over the top. We were also all treated to her fabulous recitation of the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
My own horse didn't get much done today, just some colour on one side and a few dapples roughed in. Sadly, it was not Curtis' day either and both of his models were uncooperative so no photos for either of us.

Some ponies had already been packed away before I remembered to take this photo, but this is where things stood by the end of the session. Amanda painted the teeny donkey. So cute!
The painting part of the party ended with the group working together to scrub some pesky pigment out of the carpet... Thanks to Suna for recording this part of the day!
Then we had cake and snacks and finished with a raffle in support of Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Mary made Curtis' day by gifting him the pink elephant she won in the raffle. He was promptly named Whiskers! It made sense at the time. Thanks, Curtis for this picture.
All in all, a fun, though tiring, day was had by all. Thank you to everyone for coming and to Jennifer for starting the behemoth that is now NaMoPaiMo!