Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weekly Update

I worked on Finn's head and hooves some more, I'm basically down to detailing and touching him up now. I still need to touch up and refine a couple of areas in oils.

Here is an Alvaro resin I just started. He's big! I need to get some kind of beanbag system to set him down while I paint him. Whoever cast him did a beautiful job, and he's very lightweight so easy to hold. I'm working on his basecoat right now. For some inexplicable reason my airbrush has been giving me fits lately. I have replaced just about every part on it, but the paint doesn't want to come out. I know I could coincidentally be getting a clog every time, but for it to happen four times in a row is unlikely. I take good care of the inside of the airbrush and clean it religiously. I don't want to have to buy a new one so I guess I'll have to investigate some more.
In other art news, I had my first Thursday art walk this month, it was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot. I was nervous at first, but my work was very well received and I ended up relaxing and enjoying myself. I was told it was a slow night, but I thought it was really busy! I was really glad to get the exposure, and I got to meet some really interesting artists and see a lot of art. Also, my bunny painting of chocolate bunnies won first place at the Edmonds Art Festival a couple of weeks later, so I was really happy about that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Product Comparison

  Today I thought I would do a little comparison of some of the mediums that can be used with oil paint. These are all alkyd resin-based mediums. They have a moderate drying effect on oil paints. As you can see they all carry a health warning label and need to be used with adequate ventilation, some of them are pretty smelly. A small amount can be mixed directly into the paint, or you can dip your brush into the medium and then into the paint (I always wipe off the brush after dipping into the medium and before dipping into the paint so that I don't use too much of it.) I always get the smallest bottles because the larger bottles dry out after opening, and it lasts a really long time.

Liquin is my favorite medium. I used to hate it because it smells pretty bad, but I really like the consistency of it. It's kind of a gel, and it dries to a soft, semi-matte surface. I think this is one of those love/hate mediums: people either love it or hate it. I feel like I can control it really easily.

Liquin Fine Detail is really watery. I don't like it. It's too easy for me to get too much into the paint, and I have also found that it stays tacky for a long time before it dries.
Weber Rapidry is another really watery medium. It does dry really fast, though. I have used it a couple of times just to put on a base coat, but it's too hard to control these liquid mediums. Weber has videos on their web site that show you what all the mediums are used for, it's definitely worth watching.
I like this medium. It's a soft gel that dries to a fairly matte surface. It's a little slower-drying than Liquin. I was told by a Daniel Smith technical person that this medium uses pure turpentine in it (rather than Odorless Mineral Spirits) but I can't even smell it. In fact, this is the least smelly medium, IMO.

I love Gamblin paint, but I don't like their Galkyd medium. It's really sticky. It has almost a honey consistency to it, sort of halfway between a gel and a liquid. It's really gross.

Neo Megilp would be my all-time favorite medium except that it dries slowly. As an example, Liquin may be dry to the touch in 24 hours or so, but Neo Megilp will take about 3 days to dry. I love the consistency of it, it's a soft gel that dries to a nice matte finish, and it's just a dream to work with, but I never use it on models because of the slow dry time. If they could just make this medium exactly like it is, but with Liquin's dry time, I think it would be the perfect medium.

And that's all I've got laying around. All mediums should be used in small amounts, but they do help to dry oil paints a little bit faster, and they also make the paint a little more transparent so you can create nice glaze effects.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weekly Update

Here's a different view of Ravenhill. I'm still working on the changes to his blanket. I've given him a star and snip, and worked some more on his eyes. I also toned town the hooves a little, they still need more work.
 I just love the way Lajjina is coming along. I've been working on her her dapples, mane and tail and head. I thought she would look nice with a thin stripe.
Finn is very close to looking the way I want him to look. I think I will work on his hooves a little bit today and then set him aside to dry for a while.

That's it for this week! I am detailing the dapple grey Dinky Duke and hope to have him done within a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brush Review

I thought I would do a brush review this week instead of boring you all with pictures of the same three horses. This is the Robert Simmons Expression detail spotter, size 15/0. I bought this to try it out and see if it held up to my favorite Loew-Cornells that I reviewed previously. The Expression brush was much cheaper, so I was really hoping that I would like it. Unfortunately, I didn't.

The problem? My hand size! I have very small hands. They're almost freakishly small for an adult, but the Expression brush has a huge handle. It has a long taper down to the brush, and the part where my hand rests is gigantic and unwieldy. It makes the brush feel unstable in my hand, and I have to grip close to the ferrule to use it. It seems to be made for someone with really large hands. It's not comfortable at all. Here's a photo of my hand holding the Expression:

and my hand holding the Loew-Cornell:

See what I mean about the size? The Loew-Cornell is just much more comfortable and easy to handle.

The Expression brush tip itself is just fine, in fact I consider these two brush tips to be very comparable, so if you have huge hands then you might find the Expression right up your alley, especially for the price. I paid $2.64 for it at Dick Blick.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Weekly Update

Ravenhill's owner has graciously allowed me extra time to tweak his blanket. I felt that the white was creeping too far forward and so I'm changing it to be more like the references that I originally used. I also started adding more color to the hooves and put a little color on his eyes.

Here is this incredible Lajjina resin, she's kind of awkward to paint but I just love her. I'm planning on giving her some kind of facial marking, a stripe and star maybe, nothing too big. I haven't worked on her dapples much.

I hope this photo shows some of the subtle dappling I decided to put on Finn. He's got some reverse dapples on his hind end, and some dapples on his neck, and then his body has some very subtle dappling that looks almost like mottling of the body/saddle color around his belly and topline. I'm still working on all of that.

And here's a Taboo that's been waiting for me for a while. I have ambitious plans for him, he's going to be an extended blanket appy, and his coloring is a dull liver chestnut?
That's it for the pictures this week. I am extremely busy with appointments and meetings so I may not get a lot done the next few days. If anyone in the area is interested, I will be participating in the First Thursday art walk in downtown Seattle this Thursday, from 5-9pm at the Angle Gallery in the Toshiro Kaplan building. I'm showing some of my paintings of marbles and a large painting of candy bunnies. Here's a link to my blog with more information if you're interested in checking it out. It's a really cool building, you can walk around the entire block and there are galleries on every side.