Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tour of Daniel Smith Art Supply

Daniel Smith art supply store is based in Seattle, and yesterday I took a tour of their manufacturing facility with an art group I belong to. It was really interesting! They manufacture all their paint right in the same building as their main retail store. Their chemist took us around the plant, and explained how the paints are ground, how they get their pigments (they have a dedicated geologist who travels the world looking for rocks that might make an interesting color), and how they're tubed. The chemist, and later the tour guide, answered a lot of technical questions about various colors and safety considerations.

The guides cleared up a couple of specific questions I had about a couple of their products. For instance, I found out that their alkyd medium (pictured above) has real turpentine in it,not mineral spirits like I had always thought. Also, they have discontinued their cadmium colors, but said that their new replacement colors, which they call "cadmium hues," are not the inferior student-grade products that other manufacturers use. The chemist went to a lot of trouble to get both the hue and the handling abilities of the replacements to be as close to cadmium as he could get. I meant to go check out the tubes on my way out but forgot.

One other thing they stressed: if you're working with dry pigment, you must use a full respirator, and wear gloves and/or barrier cream. He explained how the dry pigments are so finely ground and pure that they're easily aspirated, which is different from pastel dust, which is bound with another material and always heavier and bigger than any pure pigment dust.

So that was a great day for me. Last week was a bad week for me in the studio because I had jury duty, plus I was getting my taxes together, but this week I'm back on schedule. In addition to the semi-rearing stallion, I've been prepping up a storm. My goal is to get all the bodies I have on hand prepped before I buy anymore. I'm maybe halfway done right now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Getting there...

Here's the semi-rearing appy from the other side. I spent several hours on the blanket but it's hard to really tell from my pictures, I didn't have time to take closeups. I also went over part of the body in oils, I think I will work on the legs next. I'm still trying to decide if I want his mane to be darker or lighter.

On another note, I am starting jury duty this week, so will be out of the studio at least two days, possibly longer. Ugh! I hate when my schedule gets interrupted! I am also having some computer problems which may include a trip to the repair center, so I might be out of commission for a little while.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Semi-Rearing Appy

I'm still slogging away on this guy. I still have more work to do on the blanket pattern, and then I'll probably go in with oils for the color. I'm in one of those "only-work-on-this-one" moods, so most of my time last week was spent on this model.

I did fill in the leg holes on the PAS, and have been prepping a few models, like a Classic Arab Foal, a Huck Bey, and a mini-Caprice. I have about 15 models on hand that I would really like to get prepped this year, some of them have been sitting around for years waiting for my attention. I don't understand how other people can work so quickly; I have yet to figure out a productive method to work. I tend to go over things a couple of times, or maybe I take unnecessary steps, I don't know. I like each piece to be individual so I don't think about doing several bays at once using the same body color or anything like that, though I may have to start thinking that way, or at least thinking in small groups of colors.

I'm still trying to get the eye and ear right again on the medallion, no picture of that this week!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update for the Week

I've been able to work on a few personal projects last week. This is the PAS I've been customizing. I had to dremel a lot of material off of it, but I think I'm finally starting to get the proportions right. The front legs were too far back, so I've moved them forward, and I made his croup a little flatter. The throatlatch needs to be filled out a little more. Of course this is still at a very early stage.

This model is giving me fits. I have been struggling with the ticking/roany pattern on it for a long time. This picture represents me re-doing it for a third time, and I already see a huge mistake I've made in the shoulder. Hopefully by next week he'll look a little better; I should be able to put several more hours into him by then.
I debated posting this picture because it's at such a mangled stage, but I do like showing how things progress. I'm really embarrassed that this piece was pretty far advanced, and now I've gone almost back to the beginning with it. I had moved the ear on this one, but then the eye looked off, and I started fiddling and, well, this is what happens ;-) I'm still fiddling with the position of the eye.