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!


Finn and Xoie said...

oh here is a question i have been meaning to ask, what is the best way to clean your brushes after oil painting? i seem to be not very good at it and my brushes are getting a bit ratty and i have paint still stuck at the base/binding of the brush :(

Mel Miller said...

Great idea! I will work it into the tip list, thank you!

Kelly said...

Hi Melanie, great blog! I've not been subscribed long so this may have been covered, but I'd love to see a Friday tip about using pencils; they seem to be getting more and more popular with finishing artists, but I wouldn't know where to start. Any tips you have on getting started with using pencils would be really enlightening.
Keep up the great ideas!

Mel Miller said...

Thanks for the suggestion Kelly!

Daphne said...

So I know from watching you demonstrate back at NWC that you have this strange, magical "feel" for pinto patterns and they just flow off your hands ;) How did you learn to "draw" or design patterns as well as you do? Do you have any techniques you use for practicing patterns? How do you keep the pattern precise and avoid that annoying expansion with every successive white layer? It would also be great to include in this tip some info about how you keep your patterns looking flowing and coat-deep, rather than stiff and "sketched," though I think watching the way you move the brush was the most helpful way for me to get an idea of it - I do still struggle with that, though, which is why most of my paintjobs lately have been solid, hah!

Mel Miller said...

Thanks for the suggestion Daphne! I'll see what I can work up. ;-)

Rayvin said...

Topic suggestions:
Color Blending - smooth transitions
Dapples - say no to pokadot ponies or dappaloosas
appaloosas - Graffiti made easy ;) (I would love love love to see how you did american graffiti!! *drool*)
Pattern appeal - easy on the eyes, hard on the pocketbook (lol tips on creating a pleasing overall flow to a horse)
Manes and tails - flair for hair!

Alright...maybe I got a touch carried away with the fun names but I enjoyed myself! hehe. :3

Mel Miller said...

Ha ha, I love the fun names! You're entered, thanks!

eventingpony said...

I would love a tip on how to get oils flowing smoothly on your horse.
I have heard that sometimes it is best to use oils which have not been thinned, but I have trouble with a thick feel and texture to my peices.

Sculpting tip - how to prevent spaghetti/noodle manes and tails.

A simple remaking tutorial would be fantastic too.. maybe something like "how to make your model look in a different direction" tips on rebuilding muscles of the neck, etc?

- Elise

Mel Miller said...

Good ideas, thanks Elise!

Carol H. said...

I have a tip for you, Mel! How do you deal with the glare created when painting with oils? Do you have a special way that you place your lights to minimize the glare? Sometimes I can't even see what I'm doing :-0

Carol H. said...

Okay, one more idea for a tip - you may have covered this already but I can't remember - when you paint, do you do one side first, then the other? Front first, then back? Or do you cover the whole model with color all at once? If you do one side at a time, how do you keep the paint color consistent throughout? As in, do you freeze a batch of color for later re-use?

Carol H. said...

Okay, one more idea -- maybe you can comment a little bit about your working process/time management to increase productivity. For instance, do you have one day set aside for prepping, or do you work that in with everything else? Do you prep a bunch of models at once? When you sculpt with apoxie, do you have several models set up and do a bunch of them at once? Do you paint several base colors at once?

I've heard others speak of having a whole lot of projects going on at once, but, on a day to day basis, I can usually only get to about 3 models, but usually it's only 1 or 2. I've always wondered how people can work on so many, and be so productive!

PS -- Please enter me only once in your contest, I don't want to be greedy, I just like to ask a lot of questions and thought up a bunch at once ;-)

Finn and Xoie said...

i have a bunch more questions and tip suggestions too. This has opened a flood gate for people it seems now that we can pick your brain!
1. how do you get the model off of an armature?
2. tips on how to make models proportionally correct
3. and of course hooves! if you could do a tip on hooves like you did with eyes, that would be so brilliant! it would make my like year!
4. and this one is a big one - i think too big but, maybe tips on the different types of paints and how to best use them?
5. tips on how to model fine details like muzzle bumps and veins?

sorry i have been trying to sculpt my own horse model and these are all questions that i have been coming up against lately!

Mel Miller said...

Wow you guys! :-D Thanks for all of your submissions, it is much appreciated. Just a little over a month to go now!

Braymere Custom Saddlery said...

I'd like to see a quick tip on how to best sign your work. I've tried a couple different pens and they've all smudged. So, what do you use? Do you sign before or after the last coat of sealer? And where's the best place for the signature?

I could also use advice on how to paint a natural looking two color tail (like on a tobiano. I just can't seem to get one to look quite right!


Bev said...

Heres a few:
How do you not have an edge between the epoxy and the model when you sculpt say a new ear or a shoulder.
and on that note -Sculpting Ears
How do your store your oils inbtw sessions or do you mix more as you go.

thats all I can think of for now!

Barrelracer said...

Hi, I have had trouble painting horse's eyes they seem easy but it really isn't and I cant find anyone that has a tutorial on how to paint breyer model eyes.


Barrelracer said...

Hi,I have another tip it's more like a question! I can't get my pastels to blend in very well if u loook close you can see the different layers and colors. :C what can i do to blend in better?