Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Tip

This week's tip - getting a natural feel to mottling using oils. There is a trick, and it's so easy you're going to want to plant your palm right on your forehead after you've tried it out!

To start, get the horse nearly painted - don't worry about the mottling 'till later. Shade the muzzle grey and leave it plain. Mix up a suitable pink color for your mottling in oil, and paint it on in dots. (You can also do this in acrylic, but be sure to seal the horse first.) Do not worry about the mottling being too dot-like at this point, just keep the paint thin and flat. When the pink is in, go back with your grey muzzle mix (or matched grey acrylic) and paint some more dots to help refine the pink pattern and break it up. Work from photos to get a realistic spotting pattern.

Once that is all dry, you are ready for the trick that blends the stark mottling right into the soft nose. Simply grab a little bit of grey on a soft brush and lightly blend it over all of the pinking. Voila! Instantly toned down and set in mottling. You may need to go back over the top of the wet grey paint with a little bit of pink to bring some parts out more (I did on Curly), or the grey glaze might be just the ticket.

Doing this tip made me realize I never got Curly's gallery up! So, I got that taken care of today as well. You can see him completely finished here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Just finished and up on Auction Barn now! If the link doesn't work for you the first time, try clicking it once more. There's some kind of glitch with AB links, but it will get you there.

Heads up! I think there's another pumpkin around here too...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Tip

At long last, the return of the Friday Tip, hooray! There are lots of ways you can display your files while you're painting or sculpting. Laptops are easy. You can display photos through several programs. I like Windows Explorer for the filmstrip feature, and I'll open files in Photoshop as necessary. You can work from photos saved on the laptop or on another computer if you have a network set up. I prefer to use my xBox 360 which is networked into my PC, but it will also display images from a CD or DVD. The following video shows how to navigate around (pardon the lame railing in the way) and display a slide show or manipulate individual pictures.

These are my personal methods and are just the beginning! There are photo frames that play back images from memory cards. I have not used one for painting, but I've seen them in action and they are very neat. There are lots of other options too. Look into what you can do with your technology!

And heads up! I think there might be another pumpkin floating around here somewhere!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Giveaway #2!

I hope like me you're having a lovely time this fall! Today has been fresh and invigorating and the colors are so inspiring. Perfect for introducing the next giveaway! It's simple - in the coming weeks I'll be putting pictures of pumpkins into some of the posts here on the blog. If you find one, be the first to post and claim the prize! Be sure to include an email address in your comment so that I can contact you. That's it! You don't pay anything - no shipping - just find the pumpkins. The prizes will be limited to one per person and will be varied, so watch for more goodies!

The giveaway... starts now! The first to post a comment will receive a John Henry medallion.

And don't forget, I'm still taking tip suggestions for the Jasmine giveaway. Details are here.

Sneaky Squirrel!

I heard a noise again! That familiar rustling sound that can only mean one thing... a squirrel! I had my doors open today, and this little guy decided it would be awesome to come in and treat himself. They do frequently come in and find me for food (or knock on the back door, I'm not even kidding), but I guess if it's already out there's no need to ask, eh? So Mr. Sneaky here found the Halloween stash and selected a tasty Baby Ruth. I'm sure he's very pleased with himself.

PS. That window in the corner there is the reason there have been no Friday Tips lately. But the construction is alllll done now, and we're on track for a new tip tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tahtib up for Auction

Tahtib is finally done! His auction is now here and will run until Monday. I just uploaded a full gallery of pics here - enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Win a Jasmine!

Yes, you heard right! I will be giving away one unpainted Jasmine, as well as other neat prizes through my favorite season - fall! Stay tuned for contests through October and November. On November 30, the Jasmine winner will be announced. Entry is easy - think up some requests that I can use for the Friday Tip and submit them either through the comment section here (remember to include some form of contact information), email me at melanie (at) or click on the Email Tip button on the right. Each suggestion is a separate entry, so the more you submit, the better! Please keep the tip topics specific; things that can easily be covered in one blog post, or divvied up for a short series. You may submit as many entries as you wish until the deadline, November 30 12:01 AM. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting there!

I've been picking away at "Tahtib" here (he has a name now, yay!) and finally got to where I could rough in his mane and tail. (I love that part.) I don't really have anything to add technique-wise for those of you following along, but thought I'd just share his recent picture. It has just been more of the same, and he still needs a bit more work before I can really get to the finishing. I am planning on starting his auction on October 15!

And a quick note about the missing Friday Tip! There is a bit of a construction project going on here right now. One whole wall is gone, and everything is kind of piled up and crazy. I'm planning on doing a video for the last installment on displaying references, so that's on hold until things are moved back!