Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Discover the Obvious

I have read and heard over and over that you need to wait a bit before sculpting into apoxie, but somehow "a bit" means "30 seconds" to me. I tear into it almost immediately, and I think that is part of my problem with it. I need to be more patient.

So while I was convalescing last week due to illness, I slapped some apoxie on my sample horse and started fooling around with it, checking how it felt at 5 minute increments. The part on the photo that I circled is the first 5 minutes, and sure enough, I hated the way it felt. It slithered around and wasn't very cooperative. I found the best "feeling" time was after 30-45 minutes. Then I could gently work with it and it didn't slither, and if I was careful it didn't tear. So I must remember to be patient when I use this stuff.

Not much else to show this week. Alvaro doesn't look a lot different, but I have worked on his head a bit and added more dark color to his body. I'll be going back and forth like this for a long time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekly Update

I added light color to the dapples, and also worked on his face. The dapples will kind of morph and change for a long time before I feel satisfied. So far I've done the light base coat, then the dapples mapped in with darker paint, then more light dapples added in.

I worked on this reiner's head, body and legs. I'll want to refine the body color a little more, then I'll let him dry and start on his blanket.

I dremelled most of what I didn't like off of Jezebel's tail. I really didn't like the way it was droopy at the tip, and I cleaned off all the ragged detailing so I can try again. This time, I'm going to try really hard to wait for a while before I go in with the detailing of the apoxie. This is a problem I have; I get very impatient and want to be able to work with it immediately, and I think that causes a lot of problems. But at the same time, I don't like to wait because I get involved with something else and then it's hard to pull myself away from that. So, still experimenting with this one.

Remember this little gal? I still need to gloss her eyes, I might do a little bit with her white markings, too, but otherwise she's done. I'm not sure if I'm going to sell her or not. I just love these SM foals.

I'm trying a lot of different things with this Taboo. For instance, I tried the initial base coat in oils rather than acrylics. I think that was a mistake because I have a hard time thinning the oils down for such a small scale.

I was very ill yesterday so am taking it easy for the next couple of days. Hopefully I will still have some pictures to show next week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekly Update

I'm starting to block in Alvaro's dapples, and put a layer of dark markings on to see how that will look. I usually start my dapples with pretty loose brushwork like this, I think it adds depth as I progress through many layers.

The Patty reiner has another layer of paint, I've also darkened his legs.

Here is Jezebel's third tail incarnation, still unhappy with it. I wish I felt more comfortable handling the sculpting material, it's like something foreign. I never know what tool I should use, how long I should wait before working into it, and I can't seem to get any detail. I don't know if I should wait 'til it dries and then dremel into it for detail? When I try to work with it "wet", I can't get any detail, it rips and tears and blobs up. When I wait for it to cure a little it seems to get too hard to work into. I don't know if it's my hands, the tools I'm using, or just my general inexperience. No matter what I do I can't seem to "get it." I will probably try dremelling this tail a little to see what it looks like, then chuck it and start again. A lightbulb will have to go off at some point, right?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Comparison of Whites

I've collected a bunch of white oil paints over the years, and recently I read that certain whites dry more slowly than others. Apparently titanium white is one of the slowest-drying whites. So I made a little chart of the whites that I have and dated them to see how long they really do take to dry. The results were pretty shocking.

Winsor & Newton's Foundation White is made of lead carbonate and zinc white. Needless to say, I don't use this paint on model horses. I bought it just to see what it was like because it's supposed to be the most stable and reliable white for underpainting on canvas. It's very heavy in the tube and very, very warm, almost yellow. It has very weak tinting strength. But boy, does it dry fast! Within hours. It's very dry to the touch within a day. Too bad it's poisonous, because this would be ideal for mixing colors on a model.

W&N's Flake White Hue and Titanium White took over a month to dry. They both have nice, creamy consistencies, but the dry time is completely unacceptable.

Gamblin Tit/Zinc White is the white that I use when painting my flat artwork. I love the consistency of it. It took almost as long to dry as the two listed above, though.

Rembrandt Titanium White is what I have been using for my model horses, and I was disappointed to find that it took almost a month to dry, also. I don't paint my final white markings with oils, but I do use white when mixing and during initial lay-in, so I thought I'd look for something else.

I think I have finally found an acceptable white, Winsor & Newton Underpainting White. It's Titanium White with a small amount of zinc, and the tech at W&N told me that there is a slight grain added for better adhesion, and a metallic drier added to make it dry faster. They will never tell me the exact ingredients or proportions of anything, but this is what the tech recommended to me after I explained the way that I paint.

Underpainting White has kind of a weird consistency to it (probably the grain that the tech mentioned) that took a little getting used to, but it does indeed dry much faster than regular Titanium White. On my sample, it was dry within a couple of days, much better than a month! It is a little more gray than the other whites, but that's no problem for me because I always mix different colors into my white anyway, and like I said I don't use it as the final coat. So hopefully this will speed up my painting process a little more.

I hope this was helpful!