Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brush Review

I don't have any photos to show today, so I thought I would give a product review. I'd like to go through some of my materials and share what I think about them and how I use them.

First up is this miniature brush, the Loew Cornell 7650 series Spotter brush, size 18/0. I love this brush! It is a workhorse in my studio. It's very small, but has a thicker handle that fits my hand perfectly and is very comfortable to hold. I use it for fine details in both oils and acrylics, and once it starts to fray, it's great for dry-brushing tiny details in acrylics, and also for glazing and scumbling in oils. I literally wear these down to nothing before I throw them out.

There are two downsides to this brush. Number one, the point frays almost immediately. I mean, within two times using it. This could be because of the way I use it though; I'm very hard on my brushes and tend to "peck" at the surface and start rubbing with it before I should. I'm also pretty bad about letting paint get too close or even into the ferrule and then not rinsing it out right away.

Number two is the cost, it is $4-something which is very expensive for a brush that loses it's point almost immediately. So for that reason alone I am currently looking at cheaper alternatives. It's really hard for me not to buy this one, though, it's like a favorite toy or blanket that you don't want to give up.

I have found these brushes at Michael's, and I currently order them through Dick Blick (they're listed as "La Corneille Miniature Brushes). I'm not affiliated with the manufacturer or the stores, this is just for informational purposes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I finally started on the pattern for Ravenhill. He still has a long way to go, obviously. I paint the pattern in a brighter white than he will eventually be, just so I can get more covering power. He's got two coats of white on him right now.

I started doing some hoof and leg detailing on Daffyd. I plan to "weatherize" the shoes so they don't look so brightly metallic. I also want to tone down the white markings a little, too.

Lajjina definitely has the uglies right now! I've just got a couple of thin coats of oils on her.

There, I did it! It's pretty sad when I can feel such a sense of accomplishment over something as simple as uploading a couple of pictures and re-arranging them ;-)

I'm getting close to the finish point on the roan Vixen, and have dremelled off most of Jezebel's tail for a third try, and hopefully I can work on a sales piece soon -- I have about 15 resins (and a couple of Breyers) sitting on the shelf waiting for me 8-/

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Blogger is not cooperating with me right now, so I am unable to upload photos. I have a couple of good ones to share, too :-(

I will try later today and see what happens.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weekly Update

Here's Vixen, she's getting there. I tried giving her a sock on either hind foot, but it just didn't look right. I'm adding some warm highlights in her mane and tail right now, that's why it looks shiny.

Finn got another layer of paint, and I started refining the color of his mane and tail. I'm going to work on his legs next.

I had to put aside the SM foals for some time while I worked on commissions, but this week I had a chance to paint a little bit on this one.

Lajjina still looks about the same. I had to sand a couple of small areas and re-painted the base coat. I will start painting in oils next.

This is Jezebel's new, shortened tail that I've been working on for *ages*. It doesn't look terrible from this angle, but it simply doesn't flow the way I want it to. This was my second try at it, but I guess there will be another try! This is the reason I don't do custom work -- it takes me months to get anything I can live with. I have probably spent 30 hours on this tail already.

I guess that's it for this week. Ravenhill and Daffyd are both going to be sprayed tomorrow, and I will start patterning Ravenhill's blanket and doing some detailing on Daffyd.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weekly Update

I'm feeling cranky today, so there may be a small rant on this post ;-)
I found some little imperfections in Lajjina, as I expected to, so I filled and sanded them. I think I still need to sand some little pinholes I filled in her tail.

Finn is looking more gold than red again. I'm really struggling with getting just the right color that I'm look for. I want him to have a really dark shoulder and neck with some light dappling, but on his hindquarter I'm trying to get a reverse dapple effect. He's slowly getting there, but I'm glad his owner sent him to me early because he's really taking a long time!

I worked a little more on Daffyd. I really love this sculpture.

I also spent time on Ravenhill and Vixen, and I was positive that I'd have the Bitty Bosco ready for sale this week, but I found a couple of little areas that I still need to touch up. Am I too much of a perfectionist nut? If it were up to me I would spend a year on every piece, just smoothing things out and making sure it was all perfect. I need to learn to just let go at some point.

Okay, now for the rant, and guess what it's about? Facebook! I did manage to make a page for my studio, but now I can't remember how to get that onto my personal page. Why isn't there a link to it on my personal page? I know I was able to post about my "regular" artwork on my wall (somehow), but that function seemed to be missing when I made my model horse page. Maybe I just couldn't find it. I know that I can see my pages under "Ads & Pages", but do other people see that? I am a "fan" of other people's pages, but they don't show up under "Ads & Pages" where it seems obvious they should be. I swear that the developers of Facebook don't want anyone to know how to use it, it is so crazy and seems like they just put things in there on a whim, or rearrange things without any thoughts to how people might actually want to use the things. I can't stand that I can't see what I'm doing or how my page looks to others. It's not customizable in the way that I like to customize things. I like to make categories and lists, and compartmentalize things in my own way, not this broad, vague way that Facebook forces you to do. I want all my links on the "Links" page to be separated by categories like I can do with friends, but it won't let me.  It's all very frustrating because I know I'm not an idiot, this shouldn't be so difficult, yet it is for me. I am a person who has learned how to use databases, I made both of my websites all by myself, I consider myself pretty savvy at learning new things, and yet Facebook has me flummoxed.

Anyway, I do have the page set up and it's under the name Prairie Dream Studio if you want to search on it and find it that way.  I'm pretty sure that you don't need a Facebook account to see it. Okay, I think this is a link to it. Like I said before, I will probably just try to link my blog posts there (if I can figure that out), and I will have a portfolio of finished works to display. I don't anticipate doing daily updates at this time, but you never know. It's very doubtful at this point. All my commission and sales announcements will still go through my Yahoo group.

One more small rant about my camera: I love my Nikon D80, it's an awesome camera, except for one thing: the custom white balance setting. There is a setting called "K", where you can set the color temperature that you want. I have figured out that the perfect white balance setting in most instances with my setup is 2900K. Well, guess what? The custom "K" setting only has 2850 or 2950! What the--! It's like they do this stuff to taunt me...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weekly Update

My hot water heater broke last week, but I still managed to get some work done. Today is a little iffy, because I'm waiting for the permit inspector. I'm pretty nervous because we have had a bad experience with a previous inspector. I hope it's not the same one this time!

Blogger has been acting up on me today, but I think this post will go through. Okay, on to the pictures:
Vixen is getting some roaning done to her. I used a combination of reference photos, one was a darker buckskin dun, and the other was much lighter, almost like a red dun color. I will probably put some red in her mane and tail.

I worked on Finn's legs, and added a little color to the mane and tail to see what adjustments I'll need to make. I am finding that light bay or chestnut colors are the hardest to get right. I can't just paint a couple of layers, I have to adjust the color, glaze, and generally fiddle with it for ages before I get it the way I want.
Here is a Lajjina that I've started. This is a simple airbrush coat to look for imperfections.

Here's Ravenhill from the other side. I worked on his legs, underside and tail a bit. In the next couple of days I hope to do some work on his face. He's going to be an appaloosa, but I want to get his base color right. I toyed with the idea of painting his blanket in oils along with the base color, but I like the way the base color spots and shading show through on a blanket pattern appy.

Daffyd got some work done on his legs and mane/tail, and I'm waiting for Bitty Bosco to dry so I can spray him and gloss his eyes. I think he looks fabulous in grullo.

That's it for this week!