Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jasmine Winner!

And the winner is...

Jennifer Buxton!

Congratulations Jennifer! There were about 130 entries - wow! There was some overlap in ideas, so while there aren't actually 130 unique requests, there is plenty of material to keep the Friday Tip column going for a good long while. Woo-hoo! A lot of you want information on mapping white markings. I'll actually be covering that in my progress on Anthem so I'm glad I can get to the most requested topic right away. :-D

Friday, November 28, 2008


Continuing the avalanche of blog postings today... Here we have the very first painting stage happening on a Miss America resin by Sarah Rose. As you can see by the lack of a mane and tail, she is going to be getting a hair job after painting. I'll kind of be doing her in progress blogging by the seat of my pants more than usual because I haven't officially haired anything in probably 8 years. I've been practicing on some bodies, so I'm pretty sure it'll turn out nice, but it's a little scary! I'm planning on doing her in chestnut tobiano sabino with loads of cat tracks. I do these in a back and forth process which you'll get to see as she progresses.

Funny story - as soon as I got her she pretty much named herself Anthem. I often have music on when I am painting and today when I started her was no exception. No sooner did I put paint brush to resin did the song "Anthem" by Filo & Peri come on. I guess it was meant to be!

Jasmine Contest Reminder

Just a reminder with just a couple days to go! I am giving away one unpainted Jasmine (listening/ears back version) on Sunday, November 30. Entry is easy and you still have time! 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!

Friday Tip

"For best results, squeeze tube from bottom."

It works for toothpaste and for paint too! Get the most out of your paint tubes by folding the bottom over as you go. A folded end will also make squeezing paint out easier. It just takes a second each time you use a tube, so get into the habit and it will easily become second nature. Make the folds crisp and as straight as you can. Squeeze the paint to the top of the tube, and continue rolling the end up on itself as you have room. Pliers help to squish any remaining paint up and create a good strong seal preventing paint from getting trapped. You can do it with the cap on or off, but I prefer off. If you leave the cap on, you can build up too much pressure inside the tube, and the next time the cap is removed, paint will come shooting out - a mess and a waste!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Tip

I am often asked how much drier is supposed to be used with oils. It's difficult to answer because "Oh, a few drops." just doesn't tell the story since the amount relates to how much paint and what colors. This is definitely one of those pictures being worth a thousand words sorts of answers. Ergo, you can click on the picture above for words that are loud and clear.

As you can see, I have my colors laid out on my lovely foil palette and I haven't mixed them up yet. Each of those dark splotches is a drop of cobalt drier. Mine comes in a squeeze bottle with a dropper lid, making it easy to get the right amount every time. To get a half drop, squeeze the bottle until the drop is about halfway out and touch the drop lightly to the paint. Just a bit will flow out. For these mixes, I used two and a half drops for the light mixes on either end, two drops in the second from the left and one drop each in the two dark mixes. Very light, very dark and metallic colors take longer to dry, so they benefit from a touch more drier. In this case, there wasn't enough dark paint to warrant any extra drier.

A word of warning - a little goes a long way! It is better to be cautious when using drier because too much can harm your paint. In any mix, too much may make the paint brittle and unstable. Worse yet, in lighter mixes, the drier can also turn the paint green or yellow! The amounts of drier I used here are plenty to get the paint to dry within 24 hours (much faster actually with this batch), and haven't caused me any problems.

Lastly for the curious, I have a couple more coats of paint to go on the new medallion, so you can expect "real" pictures of Daisy the Fjord soon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Tip

When sculpting eyes, it is very helpful to sculpt the lids against a hard object. Beads work great for this task. Not only to they provide a good landmark, but you can sculpt the surrounding structures without marring the eye ball shape. Make sure to pick out an appropriate size as it is very easy to select a bead that is too large or too small. Practice will give you a feel for the size and how far in you need to push the bead. With firmer clays like my Chavant NSP Hard here it is easiest to carve out an eye socket to push the bead into.

If you can't find a good sized bead for your project, you can create your own eyeballs out of epoxy putty. Wait for them to cure, and pop in just like a bead.

Sneak Peek #3

Ok, one last little sneak peek! I pulled a master from her mold yesterday and everything looks great. Stay tuned for complete pictures!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Finished a Different Project

I've been pretty sick since Friday, so since I couldn't do much I decided to pick away at a necklace I've been working on for quite a while. It is finally finished! It's 12 interwoven strands of glass seed beads with lots of various Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and other beads. You can click on the picture above for a larger image, and here is a small closeup:

Sneak Peek #2

A sneakier peek than before! Don't worry, you can expect a more telling peek next time. ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Tip

This week's Friday Tip comes courtesy of Tracy Eilers, who got sick of getting stabbed and scratched by her armature wires. I just always took the beatings as part and parcel of sculpting, but no more! To keep those pesky wire ends harmless, simply curl the ends of your extra wire into a loop. Now they'll behave, and you can nip off the end when you're sure of your measurements and can hide the wires completely in clay.

Sneak Peek

Looks like there's a new medallion in town. This is is all you get... for now!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just a Reminder

Through November I'll be continuing to give away medallions, and there's still time to submit tip ideas for a chance to win an unpainted Jasmine resin. Lots of great tip submissions have been coming in, but I can never have too many! For full details, the Jasmine contest post is here.

The pumpkin contest is still cruising along with more to come, so keep your eyes open and be sure to spend some time perusing the old posts. There is getting to be quite a nice library of tips now! Some of the pumpkins are going to be buried pretty deep in the archives and I may or may not announce them when they pop up. I am trying to post them at different times of the day and night to give everyone a chance. And remember, even though there's a limit of one pumpkin per person, there is no limit to entries in the Jasmine contest and you can participate in both!

As for this pumpkin, the first person to post their email in the comments will win a $25.00 gift certificate good for anything, including auction purchases! The coupon does not expire and any unused portion will remain as credit towards any Chinook Studios purchase.